Turkish Red Lentil Soup Recipe: Mercimek Çorbası

How to Make Red Lentil Soup

This Turkish red lentil soup recipe is nutritious, healthy and comforting, especially during the colder autumn and winter months.

Serves 4-6


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 potato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 6 cups lamb or chicken stock or hot water

For the sauce

  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. First, take any discoloured lentils from the mix. Wash your red lentils thoroughly with water until the water runs clear, and drain.
  2. Peel the onion, carrot, potato and garlic and slice them into small pieces.
  3. In a large pot add your lentils, chopped vegetables and water (or stock). Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes or until lentils are soft.
  4. Once your lentils are soft, blend it into a puree with a stick/immersion blender. (You can also do this little by little with a stand blender, but be careful of the hot soup in the blender.) If the consistency is too thick, add a little hot water.
  5. To make the sauce: Heat the sunflower oil in a small pan. Once hot, add the flour and cook until a light brown colour. Then add the tomato paste, salt and pepper.
  6. To your sauce mix, add 3 ladles of your pureed soup mix to dilute it. Then add the diluted sauce into your soup and mix it through.
  7. Continue to cook your soup over low heat for another 3-5 minutes. Then, it’s ready to serve.