Legendary Dishes | Mercimek Çorbasi (lentil soup)


The secret of this aromatic lentil soup is in the modern method. Generally lentil soups, from the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans to the time of the aristocratic French and Italians, were slow-cooked, the lentils allowed to dissolve slowly into the liquid. In Turkey, as we discovered during a visit to Bekir Tezçakar at his cafe in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, they blend the ingredients into a purée to create a creamy soup.

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 250 g carrot, diced
  • 250 g red / white lentils, washed
  • 150 g tomatoes
  • 100 g onion, chopped small
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 15 g flour
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g paprika flakes
  • Salt, two large pinches

Sauté onions in oil over a low heat in a large pot until they take on a brown colour. Stir in flour, fry for a couple of minutes.

Add tomatoes, carrots and lentils, stir, add water and seasonings, bring slowly to the boil, reduce heat,

Cook until the lentils are tender.

Cool for 15 minutes.

Blend to a pureé, return to pot, reheat, taste and season again.

Garnish with paprika flakes.