Simple and quick to make, this Turkish soup is as nutritious as it is delicious.
Turkish lentil soup or Mercimek çorbasi, is a light soup with the slightly earthy flavour of lentils, a creaminess of potatoes and a good kick from the Aleppo pepper.
It is then finished with a squeeze of lemon juice before serving, for a delicious tanginess.
Turkish red lentil soup is a healthy, comforting, satisfying soup, and it is super easy to make at home.
In Turkey this is a very popular soup, served throughout the country for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and prepared in every home.
Enjoy it hot or cold with some warm bread, for a light meal, or simply poured into a thermos to take to work.
And because lentils contain slow releasing carbs, this soup will keep you feeling full for longer!
If you would like to read more about Turkish cuisine you may be interested in my post on Antepliler.
A healthy soup
This red lentil soup is also good for you, as a study by the University of Guelph has shown, combining lentils with potatoes can help reduce your blood glucose levels by more than 20 per cent.
How to cook red lentils
Unlike other varieties of lentils, red lentils do not require hours of pre-soaking so you can make this soup without much pre-planning. All you need to do is rinse the lentils till the water runs clear, similar to washing rice.
Red lentils are the fastest to cook, taking just 15-20 minutes to become soft and tender, while green lentils take the longest to cook, around 35-40 minutes (after pre-soaking).
Make it ahead
This soup tastes even better the next day when all the flavours have had time to come together.
Cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Reheat or serve it cold, it is great either way!
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Turkish Lentil Soup Mercimek
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 medium onion medium diced
- 1 large potato diced small
- 1 medium carrot medium diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red chilli flakes
- 190 grams red lentils 1 cup, washed in cold water and drained
- 1½ litres hot water 6 cups
- 2 leaves mint optional
- half lemon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 medium onionIn a medium size saucepan, heat oil, add chopped onion and sauté on a medium heat till light brown.
- 1 large potato, 1 medium carrot, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon cumin powderAdd the carrots, potatoes, tomato paste and cumin and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper, 190 grams red lentils, 1½ litres hot water, 1 teaspoon saltStir in the lentils, salt, Aleppo pepper and water and stir well.
- Simmer till carrots and potatoes are soft, for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend the mixture till smooth or to your taste.
- 2 leaves mint, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons butter, half lemon lemon juiceStir in the butter and add a squeeze of lemon juice, then garnish with black pepper and mint leaves. Serve with warm bread or Turkish rice.
- Red lentils do not require pre-soaking, just rinse, swish them round with your hand, then drain. Repeat till the water runs clear, similar to washing rice.
- Make it ahead – This soup tastes even better the next day when all the flavours have had time to come together.
- Storing – Cover and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Reheat or serve it cold, it is great either way!
The ingredients here on EOTF are set out in grams & milliliters and in US cups & spoons.