This soup is finished with a flourish of mint-and-chile-infused butter.
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3⁄4 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 medium tomatoes, halved and grated, skins discarded
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dried split red lentils (also called masoor dal), rinsed and drained
- 1⁄3 cup coarse bulgur
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. dried mint leaves, crumbled with your fingers
- 1⁄2 tsp. dried ground aleppo
- Pepper or paprika
Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin, garlic, and onions and cook, stirring, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to high, add tomato paste, and cook, stirring frequently, until color darkens, about 3 minutes. Add grated tomatoes and cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes more. Add broth, lentils, bulgur, and 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are tender and soup has thickened, about 45 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper; remove pan from heat, set aside, and cover.
Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in the mint and aleppo pepper. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with chile-mint butter.