Soup is a comforting and warming dish that is enjoyed all over the world. It can be enjoyed as a starter or a main course, and is often used as a way to soothe a cold or a sore throat. This Authentic Turkish Lentil Soup – Mercimek Çorbası, is a popular and delicious soup that is enjoyed in Turkey and beyond. In this blog post, we will explore the history, ingredients, and preparation of this authentic Turkish dish.
- An Authentic Mercimek Çorbası
- History of Turkish Lentil Soup
- Ingredients for Turkish Lentil Soup Recipe
- Preparation for the Red Lentil Soup
- Authentic Turkish Lentil Soup – Mercimek Çorbası FAQ
- Recipes You Must Try
An Authentic Mercimek Çorbası
History of Turkish Lentil Soup
Lentil soup has been enjoyed in Turkey for centuries, and is a staple dish in Turkish cuisine. Lentils are a widely used ingredient in Turkish cooking, and are often paired with vegetables, herbs, and spices to create flavorful and nourishing dishes. Turkish Lentil Soup, or Mercimek Çorbası, is a simple and delicious soup that is made with red lentils, vegetables, and spices. It is often served with fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley, and is enjoyed as a hearty and warming meal.
Ramadan & Turkish Lentil Soup
Turkish Lentil Soup, or Mercimek Çorbası, has a deep connection to Ramadan, the holy month of fasting observed by Muslims worldwide. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, refraining from food and drink during daylight hours. When the sun sets, it is traditional to break the fast with a meal called Iftar.
Lentil soup is a popular dish to serve during Iftar, as it is filling, nutritious, and easy to digest after a long day of fasting. Turkish Lentil Soup is a perfect choice for Iftar, as it is made with red lentils, which are high in protein and fiber, and is flavored with a blend of warming spices that are both satisfying and nourishing.
In addition to being a delicious and comforting dish, Turkish Lentil Soup is also a symbol of generosity and community during Ramadan. It is customary for families and communities to share Iftar meals with one another, and to offer food to those who are less fortunate. Many mosques and community centers also host Iftar meals for members of the community, providing a warm and welcoming space for people to gather and break their fast together.
Deliciously warm and satisfying
Popular Ramadan Soups
There are many different types of soup that are popular during Ramadan, but some of the most common include:
- Lentil soup – This is one of the most popular soups served during Ramadan. It is made with lentils, onions, garlic, and a variety of spices, and is often garnished with fresh herbs. Arabs make their lentil soup a little different to Turks.
- Harira – This is a traditional Moroccan soup that is made with lamb, chickpeas, lentils, and a variety of spices. It is often served with dates or sweet pastries.
- Chicken soup – This is a simple but satisfying soup that is made with chicken, vegetables, and a variety of herbs and spices.
- Tomato soup – This is a simple but flavorful soup that is made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a variety of herbs and spices. You can try my Caramelised Red Onion and Cherry Tomato Orzo Soup (Birds Tongue Soup) with an interesting twist.
These soups are all nutritious, filling, and easy to digest, which makes them ideal for breaking the fast during Ramadan. They are also often served with dates, which are a traditional food eaten during Ramadan to break the fast.
Ingredients for Turkish Lentil Soup Recipe
The ingredients for Turkish Lentil Soup are simple and easy to find. They include red lentils, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, red pepper paste (optional), aleppo pepper, cumin, water or meat or vegetable broth, salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh lemon wedges, and chopped parsley.
The Star of the show…
Red lentils are the main ingredient in this soup, and are known for their delicate flavor and smooth texture. They are also high in protein, fiber, and iron, making them a nutritious addition to any meal. Onions and garlic are used to add flavor and depth to the soup, while potatoes and carrots provide a hearty and filling base.
Tomato paste and red pepper paste (if using) add a rich and tangy flavor, while paprika and cumin add warmth and spice. Water or vegetable broth are used to create the broth for the soup, and salt and pepper are used to season it to taste. Olive oil is used to sauté the vegetables and create a rich and silky texture, while fresh lemon wedges and chopped parsley are used to add a bright and fresh finish to the soup.
Preparation for the Red Lentil Soup
The preparation of Turkish Lentil Soup is straightforward and easy to follow.
- To make the soup, start by rinsing and draining one and half cup of red lentils.
- Then, chop two large onion and six garlic cloves, and peel and chop two medium-sized carrots.
- Heat a quarter cup of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and sauté the onions and garlic for about two to three minutes, until the onions are translucent.
- Add the chopped carrots, and continue to sauté for another five minutes, until they start to soften.
- Add one tablespoon of tomato paste, one tablespoon of red pepper paste (optional), aleppo pepper, cumin, turmeric salt and pepper to the pot, and stir to combine.
- Then, add the rinsed and drained red lentils to the pot, and stir to combine with the other ingredients.
- Add six cups of water or broth to the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils and vegetables are fully cooked and tender.
- Optional – Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy. (Be careful when blending hot liquids, and do it in batches if using a regular blender).
- Season the soup more if necessary, add the lemon juice and give it a final stir.
- Serve the soup hot, with more fresh lemon juice and some chopped parsley.
Authentic Turkish Lentil Soup – Mercimek Çorbası FAQ
1. Is lentil soup the healthiest soup?
Turkish Lentil Soup Recipe is considered to be one of the healthiest soups due to its high nutritional value. Lentils are a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients, making them an excellent addition to a healthy and balanced diet. Additionally, lentil soup is often made with vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes, which provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
2. What ingredients do I need to make Turkish lentil soup?
The main ingredients for Turkish lentil soup are red lentils, onions, carrots, potatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, salt, pepper, and water. Some recipes may also call for garlic, lemon juice, or red pepper flakes.
3. Do I need to blend the soup?
It depends on your preference. Some people like their lentil soup to be smooth and creamy, in which case you would blend the soup using an immersion blender or transfer it to a blender in batches. Others prefer a chunkier soup, in which case you can leave it as is.
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Recipes You Must Try
- Authentic Moroccan Harira Soup
- Adasi – Persian Lentil Soup
- Caramelised Red Onion and Cherry Tomato Orzo Soup (Birds Tongue Soup)
- One Pot Sun-dried Tomato Chicken and Orzo
- Zereshk Polo Morgh – Persian Barberry Rice with Chicken
- 4 Ingredient Tahini Pistachio Date Bars
- Hummus Loaded With Shirazi Salad
- Tavuk Döner Kebab and Chips
- Date Baklava Cheesecake
- Classic Turkish Walnut Baklava
- Bamya – Okra Stew
- Aloo Mosama – Persian Dried Fruit Stew with Turkey
Authentic Turkish Lentil Soup – Mercimek Çorbası
Start by rinsing and draining the red lentils.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and sauté the onions and garlic for about two to three minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Add the chopped carrots, and continue to sauté for another five minutes, until they start to soften.
Add the tomato paste, and all other spices and stir to combine until aromatic.
Then, add the rinsed and drained red lentils to the pot, and stir to combine with the other ingredients.
Add six cups of water or broth to the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils and vegetables are fully cooked and tender.
Optional - Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy.
Season the soup more if necessary, add the lemon juice and give it a final stir.
Serve the soup hot, with more fresh lemon juice and some chopped parsley.