Turkish Red Lentil Soup (Mercimek Çorbasi)
March 20, 2008 § 24 Comments
Lentils are one of the blessed foods mentioned in the Qur’an al-kerim. And according to the Holy Prophet’s medicine (may Peace and Blessings be upon him), lentils ‘soften the belly’ increasing ‘sympathy and humility’. Red lentil soup is a Turkish favorite and is good to be served with bread prior to your main dish. In this post I will give you a run down of how to make Turkish Red Lentil Soup or Kırmizi Mercimek Çorbasi.
Total Time: 1.5 hours
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup bulgur
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 cup parsley
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 3 or 4 tomatoes
- 3 cups lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 2 cups chopped onions
- .5 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar
- 1.5 cup extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)
- 16 cups (1 gallon) stock or water and 2 boullion
Bring the 10 or 12 cups of water to a boil. Add the red lentils and 2 tsp. salt, then let simmer for 30 minutes. While the large soup pot is simmering coat the onions with olive oil and 1tsp. of salt in another pot. Then cover and lower the heat on the second pot to allow the onions to cook, do this for about 3 – 5 minutes.
Add the bulgur, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin and stir until browned. Next add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley and the remaining cups of water (4 or 6 cups of water). Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Allow the second pot to simmer for 15 minutes.
By the time these 15 minutes are over both pots should be done simmering. Now pour the contents of the second pot into the soup pot with the lentils, cover and allow to simmer on low heat for 40 minutes or until the bulgur and lentils are soft. You may add more water if you desire a thinner soup.
When time is up, add lemon juice or vinegar and serve immediately. You may want to add a some mint, a tbsp. yogurt and sprinkle sumac on top. It adds the right color and tone to a very delicious soup.
Note: This is my version of the soup. I cook mine with a few differences. Firstly, I use a slow cooker, which is sometimes called a Crock Pot. And when using the Crock Pot there is no reason to separate the lentil from the onions, tomatoes and other ingredients. However, it nearly takes 3 times as long to complete. So when using a Crock Pot, I suggest you prepare at night and allow to cook on low setting over night. In the morning you will have a beautiful soup inshaAllah.