Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Red Lentil Soup

(Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi)

Red Lentil Soup - click to enlarge
1 cup red lentils, washed and drained
1 onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small yellow potato, peeled, cut in medium pieces
1 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp red pepper paste
1 cubes beef bouillon
3 cups water

Red Pepper Sauce:
1 tbsp butter
Red pepper
Cayenne pepper

Place all the main ingredients in a medium size pot. Cook for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Then mix thoroughly using a blender. If necessary (too thick), add more hot water. Pour into soup bowls using a ladle.

Melt the butter in a small pan and add in the peppers. When it starts bubbling, pour over the soup. Serve Red Lentil Soup while still hot with fresh bread. Add a few drops of lemon juice to taste.

* This is a vegetarian dish (don't use the bouillon).



At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

excellent soup.. BRAVO ..I did add 1 tsp of cumin to it.and served with fried toast-bread cut into cubes...DELICIOUS

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this soup...I also add some milk (1 cup)after cooking...

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soup was yummy but tasted better with some fresh lemon juice.. good recipie all round a i had been used to making the same soup but the cypriot way :)

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This must be the universal Turkish soup! My mother taught me a similar recipe, but we saute the onion first, and garnish it with vinegar and fresh garlic. I lived on it throughout college, because it's SO cheap and yummy. Thanks!

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Sara,
It is a very delicious soup, I love it too:) I cook Green Lentil Soup
the same way your mother cooks it. Vinegar and garlic give it great taste.
Next time I will try same garnish for my Red Lentil Soup too, thanks:)

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering what the serving size for this recipe is...I'm going to have 8 people for dinner, should I double the recipe?

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

This recipe is for 4-5 people, it depends on how watery you like it:)
You should double it, leftovers are also good:)

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sag olun for making such a wonderful site for turkish recipes. My husband is from Turkey and this site is so great for easy to understand recipes. I'm going to make the corba tonight for the first day of Ramadan.

At 8:14 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Thank you Tahira:) It is a very good choice....Happy Ramadan!

At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found this site whilst browzing for recipes...

Do I need to soak the lentils overnight for this or can the go straight in... I am a learner o apologise if this is a stupis question....

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Rosie,
Red lentil gets soften easily, you don't need to soak it into the water. Please follow the instruction. If you have more questions please don't hesitate to ask me:)

At 1:29 PM, Blogger donnaroonie said...

senin yemek tarifler cok guzelmis. her zaman burda bakiyorum yemekler icin. ben kendim ingliz ama esim turk. senin yemek tarifler buldum ne kadar mutlu oldum. sebit tarif var me sende cunku esim bunlar cok seviyor ama ben sebit nasil yapacan bilmiyorum . yardim yollarabilirmisin ?

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Donna,
Tarifleri begenmene cok memnun oldum:)Sebit diger adiyla Kayseri Yaglamasi tarifini ilk firsatta yayinlayacagim:)

At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,

This recipe is perfect! However, I have a question. Where do you buy your red lentils? The only brand I can find in the grocery store is Raja and I kept finding dead bugs in the lentils when I was inspecting them for the small stones. Is there another brand you can recommend that maybe I can order online?
Thank you so much.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Every supermarket in Toronto area has the same quality red lentils. I also can easily find the Turkish lentils which have the great colour at the Turkish groceries. I may suggest you to search which is located in New York. It is a on line Turkish store. I've found lentils (mercimek) for you, here is the address;
Red lentils =kirmizi mercimek
Green lentils =yesil mercimek
Take care,

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Nicki said...

I add dried mint, cumin and chilli flakes. At the end, I add a dash of lemon juice and serve it with a parsley topping and a swirl of plain natural yoghurt. It's delicious!

At 7:59 PM, Blogger ayse said...

Ellerinize saglik Binnur Hanim. Super oldu, cok sagolun. -Ayse

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Gary said...

I'm living in Turkey right now and this is my all time favorite soup. I finally made it at home (thanks to your recipe). It was fantastic! I do not have a blender right now so I just whisked it, which left it a bit chunkier but still yummy.

At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur!
I've been introduced to the Turkish cuisine by my Turkish friends. Since then I love Turkish dishes! I loooooove this soup a lot! However, every time I make this soup, the water and the puree stay separated. I can't make the homogeneous mixture :( Do you have any suggestions for me?


At 9:17 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Aliyah ,
The water and the puree stay separate when the soup is cold so it is normal. When you stir everything will combine again:)

At 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi there. i think a little amount of mint (dried) really makes this soup shine.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Not for this one! I've already posted two more red lentil soups they have mint in it:) Like Red Lentil and Mint Soup (Ezo Gelin Corbasi) and Ructic Red Lentil Soup (Mahluta Corbasi).

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur,

Greetings from Malaysia..

Just came back from Turkey..ulkenizi seviyorum...

Just found your blog..i love d turkish soup and dessert...

I miss Turkey so much.

Rina, Malaysia

At 3:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would really appreciate if you could put the cooking times and how many they serve to your recipes.

I am from New Zealand, but living in Turkey with my husband - and tonight I have a dinner party and am using your amazing recipes :) WISH ME LUCK haha

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Lara,
This soup is usually for 4-5 servings. Most of the recipes I've posted indicate the number of servings.
Also most of the recipes are with the "cooking times". When you learn more to cook Turkish dishes, you will see sometimes it is hard to give the time:)
Good luck!

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Siri said...

I adore Turkish food and have some great local restaurants in north London. I made this great soup (with a pinch of cumin) and lemon to taste - delicious. My wife really enjoyed it too. Thanks so much.

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This recipe has turned out perfect!!
Thank youuuuuu so muchh Binnur
Happy Ramadan!

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, I also usually dont puree this soup and I like the ingredients as they are:)natalie

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

İ have just made this soup, under the watchful gaze of my Turkish sister-in-law.(İ live in Dalaman) NO NO NO! As İ placed all of the ingredients in the pan together. İ shouldn't use tomato, i should fry the lentils and onion in olive oil,and only use 1 stock cube! (İ've done double quantity,so used 3)! İ've made your version of the recipe lots of times now, and my hubby prefers it, and always asks for more. Thank you for a fantastic site.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Binnur,

Do some Turkish cooks add potatoes for a creamier consistency? Also, would a vegetarian bouillon cube be a suitable substitute for seasoning, or is it unnecessary? Thanks again for your generosity and God bless! You have a real talent for explaining and, I'm sure, preparing the dishes that comprise this gem of world culinary traditions!



At 8:07 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Ileana,
Thank you:) Potato gives creamer consistency and thickness to the
soup:) You can use vegetable bouillon cube instead of beef bouillon.
Take care,

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good basic recipe but I think it needs a few tweaks to make it the soup I had for almost a month in Turkey.

This recipe, for my taste, is a bit watery, calling for 4 1/2 cups of liquids. I would either scale that back a bit (maybe by 1/2 cup) or add more lentils. Agree with those who advise to saute the onions, some garlic, and the carrot first. That gives it a better overall flavor. Good stuff!

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Thank you for your advice:) The thickness of the soup is determined by the carrots and potatoes. So it seems these vegetables you used were smaller than I used:)
There is more than one red lentil soup in our cuisine. This is the basic one, so if you like you can try the others, too:)
Take care,

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binnur,
Elinize sagol for all your great, easy to understand recipes. You have saved me on many occasions. I am half-Turkish and often when I am unsure of a step I think " Let me check with Binnur and see how she does it"?

So I just finished making the soup and tried it in my new pressure cooker for the first time. The taste seems fine without sauteing the onions first. However, I must be doing something wrong as no matter what recipe I use mine just tastes too starchy. I buy my lentils from the turkish grocer and wash until the water runs clear. Am I supposed to boil them first and drain the water. Hard as I try I just can't get the consistency as the restaurants like Sahan in Istanbul! Thanks :-) SR

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Sevgili SR, tesekkur ederim:)
You did it right, however, if the taste is too starchy you should use small size potato as it is the only starchy vegetable in this soup:)

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a very important question. What about potato in the soup? Some ppl claim is the classic ingredient of red lentil soup. Natalie

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Natalie, thank you for bringing it to my attention! Of course, it is an essential ingredient. All those years Red Lentil Soup recipe was sitting over there without it! I can't believe how I missed it and never checked again:(
Thank you very much!!!

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there not salt or any spices in the soup?

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I used beef bouillon, so the soup doesn't need any more seasoning:)

At 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur, dont worry, I ve done mercimek soup for all the years following your recipe. Even without potato soup was tasty to me! Now will add potato too to check the difference : ) N.


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