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  • Aydin Odyakmaz

Mercimek Corba Red Lentil soup

One of the best and probably best-known soups in Turkey. A soup you can eat three times a day.

I have a memory as a kid being in Turkey visiting my uncle in a small village where my father is from called Koyulhisar in the province of Sivas. It was early morning and we were going someplace in the mountains when we stopped in a small place with a shop and a little coffee shop rural eatery. I sat down with a bunch of old men who were there for the same reason to have some breakfast. We sat and a man brought a few bowls of Mercimek corba -Lentil soup with a half loaf of fresh bread. The soups taste still linger in my memory as a moment in time we don't forget.

Here is my take on the favourite


  • small onion

  • 1 small carrot

  • 1 small potato ( optional)

  • 1 cup red lentils

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 6 cups (1 1/2 liters) veggie or chicken stock

  • 1 spoon olive oil

  • Garnish: hot pepper flakes and squeeze of lemon juice

Cook veggies till onions translucent, add lentils spices mix, add stock cook till all soft. I use a hand blender to make it smooth and creamy. Squeeze some. lemon juice and Maras ( a place in Turkey known for their peppers) red pepper flakes. Have with a baguette . Enjoy.




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