Turkish Red Lentil Soup – Mercimek CorbasiCourse: Starters, Salads and SoupsCuisine: Middle Eastern, Vegan, VegetarianDifficulty: Easy
As a teenager I took part in several exchange programs for young people, organized by our local church, with Turkey. This famous soup brings me back to the vastness of Cappadocia, the lush hazelnut plantations on the Black Sea and the friendly people. A delicious souvenir and now one of my kid’s favorite soups.
1 Onion, peeled and chopped
2 Garlic cloves
1 Large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 Bunch of fresh mint
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 Tomatoes, chopped
75 g Tomato paste
0.5 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Paprika powder
125 g Red lentils
750 ml Vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chili flakes to taste
1 tbsp Lemon juice
- Peel the onions, garlic and carrot and chop everything.
- Wash the mint leaves and chop it as finely as possible.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped onion. Steam until translucent and then add the garlic.
- Wash the tomatoes and remove their stems. Quarter them and add them to the saucepan with the tomato paste. Also add most of the mint.
- After about two minutes, add the carrot pieces, cumin, chili flakes “al gusto” and paprika powder. Sauté for five minutes. Stir frequently so that nothing burns.
- Rinse the red lentils and add them to the saucepan, together with the vegetable stock.
- Cook the soup on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- When the lentils are soft and puffy, you can puree the soup.
- Season the Turkish lentil soup with lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
- Spread the soup on plates and decorate with the remaining mint.
- You can add some warm Turkish bread to it.
- You can also add some Za’atar on top of it, to enhance the exotic flavor. Za’atar is a Lebanese spice mixture. You will find the recipe among the category Dips, Spreads & Dressings.
- RED LENTILS are a powerhouse of beneficial effects on our health. They are recommendable due to their content of phytoestrogens which may regulate our hormone balance during menopause. Their abundance of antioxidants and phytochemicals as polyphenols, proteins, essential amino acids, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals may result in:
- – Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
- · Reduction of the risk of cancer
- · Prevention of metabolic disorders
- · Reduction of sustained inflammation
- · Prevention of cognitive alterations
- Red lentils are also easier to digest than common lentils, as they have no skin. They are even good for those who have intestinal difficulties and excess gas. Ideally, it’s best to consume them at least once a week either in soup, a salad, a spread or in a stew.