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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Kirmizi Mercimek Çorbasi (Turkish red lentil soup) (vegan)

One of the most well-known Turkish soups, light and hearty at the same time, very nourishing and absolutely delicious. Several versions of this soup exist out there, since it's a staple in Turkish households. That would also explain the large variety of slightly different recipes online, but you'll find that this one here is about as traditional as they get. 

If you don't need to keep it vegan, the soup is sometimes served with a little yogurt (and extra parsley):

However you choose to serve it, enjoy ! :)
Recipe sources (the closest, at least): here (Romanian) and here (English).

Last year: Mauve rice with bell peppers, carrots, olives and pine nuts (vegan).
Two years ago: Spicy shrimp and wild rice soup (Chinese).

Ingredients (serves 6):
  • 400 g red lentils
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon caraway
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • some extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 liters water or vegetable stock
  • some natural yogurt to serve (optional)

Bring 2,5 liters of stock to a boil. Add the lentils:

Let them boil on medium heat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chopped onion and garlic in it until softened.

Also add the chopped tomatoes, carrots and bell pepper.

Fry them for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining 500 ml stock to the pan, along with the caraway and paprika. Cover and let it cook for 15 minutes.

Add the contents of the pan to the soup bowl after the 30 minutes are up. Mix well and let the whole thing cook for 30 more minutes until the lentils are completely soft. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Transfer to serving bowls and serve with some yogurt and extra parsley (if you want). It's done, dig in! :)

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