Why You Need to Try This Delicious Turkish Lentil Soup!

Lentil Soup

This Turkish Lentil Soup is a revelation. It has a gorgeously creamy texture without adding any cream at all. This delicious and economical dish is perfect for lunch or dinner served with crusty bread and a wedge of lemon and fresh herbs on top!

Turkish Lentil Soup or Mercimek Çorbası is so healthy and delicious and tastes like a big hug in a bowl thanks to its wonderfully creamy texture. It can be made with red or yellow lentils that are cooked until soft and then blended up. Despite how creamy it looks there is not a speck of cream or dairy in it, it's basically all lentils and vegetables. I apologise that there's no process pics, I completely thought I had taken some but I hadn't!

Tips For Making Turkish Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

1 - You can make this lentil soup using red or yellow lentils. The main difference is usually in the colour of the soup at the end.

2 - Make sure to rinse the lentils well. I usually wash them half a dozen times until the water runs clear.

3 - Always make sure to take time to cook the onions well. If you hurry this step, I find that the acridness of the onions permeates the whole soup and it's just not as tasty.

4 - If you don't have access to Aleppo pepper you can replace it with 1 teaspoon chilli flakes and 1 teaspoon sweet paprika.

5 - Not only is this soup delicious but it's inexpensive to make and good for you. Usually Mercimek Çorbası is made with chicken broth but you can also make it with vegetarian broth, just make sure to season it well. I make a batch of this soup at the beginning of the week and serve it for lunch Monday to Friday. It makes quite a lot of soup and reheats very well.

6 - This soup keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze this soup in portions for up to 5 months.

Lentil Soup

When I gave this soup to Mr NQN he saw the bright orange colour and assumed it was pumpkin soup. In fact he wouldn't believe that this wasn't pumpkin soup. "Why would I even lie about it?" I told him laughing. "Are you sure?" he'd say between slurping spoonfuls of this soup. I have no idea why he was acting so suspiciously, it's not like he dislikes pumpkin soup.

Mr NQN can be very funny. A friend recently put up a video of her family packing. The girls had everything packed up in luggage and the boys had loose toothbrushes and a pile of things on the floor and weren't ready. It reminded me of Mr NQN who always has a loose toothbrush somewhere in his luggage. Sometimes he knows where it is, sometimes it doesn't. Sure there's fluff and detritus on it but he figures he doesn't swallow it so what harm could it do?

We also don't quite see eye to eye with food preparation. Teddy and Milo get wet food in a roll kind of like a devon or baloney (don't worry, we aren't feeding them devon, their food is more expensive than human food). But we have to process it up into smaller chunks for them to eat because Milo is too enthusiastic and swallows large chunks whole. We also add some fish oil and eggs to Teddy's food just to help with his joints as he is older (Milo is allergic to both eggs and fish oil). We have separate containers and it lasts for a week and we mince it up again once their container runs out.

Sometimes Mr NQN does the mincing up. He minced up their food but instead of putting it in a new container, he put the food back into the same container without cleaning it! I had to explain why you can't just keep using the same container without washing it but I suspect that when I'm not around, he may do it again.

So tell me Dear Reader, am I being too fastidious? Is there a toothbrush on the loose in your luggage? Have you ever tried Mercimek Çorbası?

Lentil Soup

Did you make this recipe? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Rated 5 out of 5 by 51 lovely readers. Share your rating:

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time:

Cooking time:

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 yellow onion (around 200g/7ozs), peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots (around 300g/10.6ozs), chopped
  • 1 medium (around 100g/3.5oz) potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 70g/2.5ozs tomato paste
  • 1.5 litres/6 cups/3.2pints chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup/190g/6.7ozs red or yellow lentils, rinsed well
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 20g/0.7oz melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper to serve

Step 1 - Heat a large pot on medium heat and add the oil and sauté the onions for 5 minutes until they smell sweet. Add the garlic, carrot and potato and then add the Aleppo pepper, cumin and ground coriander seeds. Fry for a couple of minutes (add some oil if needed). Add tomato paste, broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are soft.

Lentil Soup

Step 2 - Using an immersion blender, blend everything until you get a silky, smooth texture. To serve, mix melted butter and Aleppo pepper and drizzle on top along with chives. Serve with lemon.

Published on by .

Reader Comments

Loading comments...

Add Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked*