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Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Go to any Turkish restaurant and you’ll probably be served a variation of this tasty soup, known as mercimek çorbasi. Made with red lentils and plenty of spice this warming soup is perfect for appetizers, as a side, or even as the main event with a nice chunk of good bread to dip into it or a toasted pita.

This simple-to-make soup has complex flavors thanks to a long list of spices. The blend of paprika, chili, cumin, and oregano flavor the lentils perfectly.

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

There are also some potatoes in the soup, but they’re definitely background players in this recipe.

Once this has a chance to simmer for 30 minutes the texture becomes smoother, unlike either lentils or potatoes. For a silkier texture you can use a metal stick blender to puree the soup if you like, but I find that this isn’t strictly necessary.

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Once everything simmers together those flavors unite into one that’s a signature of Turkish cooking.

A couple of special ingredients added at the end of cooking lend the soup a freshness that keeps it from ever feeling heavy, including some fresh lemon juice and some chopped parsley.

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

For a world class soup that satisfies all kinds of different palates this Turkish red lentil soup is a crowd pleaser. Plus you can add a bit more spice if you want to amp up the heat a little.

Serves 6-8

20m prep time

40m cook time

189 calories

1.0
Rated 1.0 out of 5
Rated by 1 reviewers

Allergens: Citrus

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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium Russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 5 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Preparation
  1. Heat oil in stockpot over medium. Add onion and carrot. Cook for 4 minutes. Add potato and cook for another 4 minutes.
  2. Make well in center of pan and add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds then add tomato paste, cumin, salt, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper. Cook for 30 seconds then add 1 cup broth to deglaze.
  3. Add remaining stock and lentils and then stir. Simmer for 30 minutes or until soup is thickened. If becoming too thick add water or broth.
  4. Stir in mint and lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes more. Use a metal stick blender to make texture almost smooth- leaving it ever so slightly chunky.
  5. Serve with a little fresh parsley sprinkled over each serving.

Recipe adapted from This Healthy Table.