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Mercimek çorbası (Turkish Lentil soup)

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

Mercimek çorbasi
Mercimek çorbasi

The main ingredients of these Mercimek çorbasi soup are red lentils. At first this soup is simple but take the time to make it. The soup can actually be made as thin or firm as you want. I prefer a slightly firmer soup, but also a bit watery, this soup is still tasty.

Ingredients for Mecimek çorbasi:

1 large onion

¼ red pepper

5 garlic cloves

1 vegetable or herb stock cube

3 tsp paprika powder (+ extra for garnish)

7 oz. - 200 g of red lentils

1 large knob of butter

3 tsp ground cumin seeds

2 tbsp drained canned tomato cubes (The original recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or paprika puree, which is also possible.)

6 tbsp thick Greek or Turkish yogurt

How to make Mercimek çorbasi:

Peel and chop the onion. Chop the red pepper and the peeled garlic cloves very finely.

Heat a dash of oil in a stockpot and fry the onion until translucent.

Add the pepper and garlic and fry for a minute.

Now add 20 fl. oz - 600 ml of water from the kettle to the onion, pepper and garlic.

Bring to a gentle boil and add the stock cube, a pinch of salt, the paprika and the lentils.

Let it cook for 45 minutes.In the last minutes, melt the butter in a separate pan and fry the ground cumin seeds in it.

Then add the tomato cubes, stir and add to the soup.

Remove the stockpot from the heat and puree with a hand blender until smooth.

Spoon into bowls and serve with 2 tablespoons of yogurt per bowl, sprinkled with some paprika powder.

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