Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Soupe du Jour - Red Lentil Soup (Mercimek Corbasi)

This soup is a staple of %99 Turkish Restaurant menus and almost all Turkish home kitchens for good reason. It is not only very healthy but also very delicious. It is beautiful in its simplicity and mild flavor. There are several variations of this soup, the recipe for the different variations will follow this one as they are all tasty.


1 cup red lentils
2 tbs butter (I prefer canola oil to make it healthier)
1 medium size onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium potato, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
6 cups of water
1 tsp salt


1. Wash well and drain the lentils, set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onion until translucent, add tomato paste and stir for 2-3 min. 
3.  Add the rest of the ingredients, lentils, carrot, potato and salt cook on medium heat for 30-35 min. or until the lentils are soft. if you are using pressure cooker, cook for 15 min. Remove any froth that may rise to top. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan
4. You can transfer the soup to a blender or use a hand blender and puree.
5. Serve with crusty whole wheat baguette, or croutons with a squeeze of lemon juice on top

Optional Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil, about 1/3 teaspoon paprika and 1/3 dried mint. Heat the butter or oil in a sauce pan. Add the paprika or crushed red pepper and dried mint flakes and stir for 1 min. Remove from the heat and  drizzle over soup and serve.

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