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

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rustic Red Lentil Soup

(Mahluta Corbasi)

Rustic Red Lentil Soup
1 cup red lentils, washed, drained
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water, warm
2 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp tomato past
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (red pepper flakes)
2 tsp oregano

Saute the onion with the butter for 1-2 minutes, but do not burn the onion! Add the garlic and saute until the smells come out. Then add lentils and 1 cup water, stir. Put the lid on half way and cook for 5 minutes with a little bit under medium heat. The lentils will absorb the water quickly, so check often. Add the chicken broth, tomato paste, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 more minutes with the lid half way on over medium heat. Season with oregano, stir. Serve this soup with lemon wedges while still warm.

4 servings.

Meal Ideas:
- Chicken with Cabbage, Carrot Salad and Prune Dessert with Walnuts.



At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Selam Binnur, and compliments on this site.
This soup reminds me of Mercimek soup (my all time fav.) which I make at least once a week.
I tried it in Istanbul for the first iftar this past Ramazan and it was awesome!
Is this soup similar in taste?
many selams, Ida from Canada

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Ida,
I don't know which is your favourite. This red mercimek soup is the traditional one. It is also our all time favourite:) The other one is also delicious. I've already posted, here is the address;

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it. We did adjust it a bit to our liking. We replaced oregano with cilantro, and used tomatoes instead of paste, and vegetable broth instead of chicken. Was lovely, and I'm sure the original is even better!

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Umm,
Thank you:) I am going to try your version too:)
Take care,

At 4:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I really enjoyed this soup as well. It was not as colourful as the picture shows, but it was delicious. I also adjusted the recipe, adding a couple of cloves of garlic to the onions, and 20mL rice vinegar to the soup while cooking. The soup was nice and refreshing as well as flavoursome.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Anders,
I am glad you like the soup:) If the brand name of the tomato paste that you used doesn't give the colour you can always add more. The soup already contains 1 or 2 cloves of garlic:) Sure, you can substitute lemon juice with vinegar....

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Lee Ann said...

I am so glad I found this sight. I am in the process of making the Ekmek now. My family and I lived in Ankara from '00-02 and fell in love with the food there. My all time favorite was the red lentil soup from Kepap 49 on Kavaklidere. I was wondering if you were familiar with this soup and restaurant at all. The soup had carrots and some other ingredients that yours doesn't seem to have. We loved to dip the fresh ekmek into it. Also was wondering if you knew what kind of little berries that they put into their rice that they serve with the flattened spicy grilled chicken. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Will let you know how everything turned out. Thanks again!!!

Lee Ann from Louisiana

At 9:12 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Lee Ann,

I wish I could but I've never been in Kebap 49 that's why I don't know their menu. But I may give you some ideas what you are asking for:)

Red Lentil Soup (Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi) has carrot in it, here is the recipe;

All the kebab Houses serve Red Lentil and Mint Soup (Ezo Gelin Corbasi), here is the address;

I think the little berries in the rice pilaf are currents. I've already post the recipe under the name of Pilaf with Chicken Liver (Ic Pilav), here is the address;

I hope I could help you:)

At 9:43 AM, Blogger julie said...

if this simple soup was good then i knew the rest will be too. just tried the soup. fantastic!. now where can i find 'the immam fainted' and a veggie lamachun perhaps

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Julie,
Thank you:) I've already posted Imam Bayildi recipe, here is the address;
On the site, below the google ads on the right, there's a search box.
So you can search on my site if "TC" is selected, it will help you to
find any recipe that I post.
Take care,

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the first soup I've ever made and it came out awesome. Once it gets a little colder outside I'll probably make it every couple of weeks. Lentils are pretty cheap and high in protein. This would be great for vegetarians (maybe replace the chicken stock with veggie stock).

Note: I used chicken bullion instead of chicken stock (I usually don't have chicken stock on hand) and it still comes out great.

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you so very much for all of these delicious recipes! I'm American with a love of middle eastern foods and have fallen in love with Turkish cooking through this site. I'm fasting from meat and just made this soup. It is delicious!! I've tried many recipes here and have always been delighted so it was time to say a big Thank You!

At 2:57 AM, Blogger Noor said...

selam, I am making this now thank you. I wanted to tell you that your potatoes mossauka is the first thing I ever taught myself to cook years ago (maybe 3 or more)... Thanks love the site. I am half Turkish and no one ever taught me any of this..

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Emel said...

Thanks, I will try this recipe. I have a suggestion, instead of oregano, taragon also goes very well with lentils.

At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This soup is fantastic. I also made your roasted red pepper with feta and your zuchini gratin yesterday. All of your recipes are delicious! We bought your cookbook too. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful food.

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best soup ever, my husband likes meat, so I just put some chopped chicken in too, excellent, I make it time and time again.

At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

selam, for a while i was tempting to write about how delicious your recipes are. So here it is we have tried most of the dished you have provided here, they are all fabulous. Please keep sharing more turkish recipes with us.


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