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.
In Turkey it is a very popular soup, served throughout the country for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and prepared in every home.
If you would like to know more about Turkish cuisine you may be interested in my post on Antepliler.
Turkish red lentil soup is a most comforting and satisfying soup, and very easy to make at home.
Enjoy it hot or cold with warm bread for a light meal, or simply poured into a thermos to take to work. As lentils contain slow releasing carbs this soup will keep you feeling full for longer.
It’s also good for you, as a study by the University of Guelph has shown that combining lentils with potatoes can help reduce your blood glucose levels by more than 20 per cent.
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.
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 Recipe
- 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 g 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
- In a medium size saucepan, heat oil, add chopped onion and sauté on a medium heat till light brown.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, tomato paste and cumin and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir 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.
- Stir 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.
- 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!