Monday, October 18, 2010

Red Lentil Soup (Mercimek Corbasi)

Another favorite starter at a Turkish kebab restaurant... This soup will not only be a hearty, but healthy start to your meal (sometimes it is a meal in itself with a couple slices of toasted bread or some croutons), it will also satisfy your stomach and warm your soul, especially on a cold winter day.

Ingredients: (Serves 6)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups beef/chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrot, and saute a few minutes until onion becomes translucent.
  • Add the lentils and saute for another minute.
  • Add the stock and bring to a boil. Skim the foam that has built up on the surface of the soup.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until the lentils are completely soft. Add the black pepper. At this point, taste the soup and add salt, if necessary (For me personally, the salt amount of the stock is enough, so I do not add more salt).
  • Process the soup with a hand blender to achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Optional: In a small saucepan, melt the other 2 tablespoons of butter. When it starts foaming, add the red pepper flakes, saute for a minute (the flakes will infuse the butter with their flavor and their red color. Do not burn the flakes). Pour it into the soup.

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