Thursday, January 8, 2009

Red Lentil Soup (Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası)

First, let me say that, in general, I am not a big fan of soups. However, Turkish Red Lentil Soup was my childhood favorite. Today, it is still my favorite. This remarkable soup was so warming and comforting in the cold days of winter. That is why I thought this is a perfect time to share this warming recipe since we are in the winter season currently. Although, I better get all my favorite winter recipes going since we only have a couple months of winter in Houston.

Red lentil soup is a Turkish favorite and served in most restaurants. Most households in Turkey consume this soup. This is another simple, yet delicious recipe.

The main ingredient, red lentils have a delicious nutty and hearty flavor which makes this soup so delectable, not to mention their (or lentils in general) health benefits which include but not limited to managing blood sugar disorders due to their inclusion of high fiber and lower cholesterol. Red lentils are a good source of protein, dietary fiber and iron similar to beans.

2 cups red lentils
1 medium onion (chopped finely)
2 tbsp canola oil
3 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato paste
2.5 cups chicken broth
8 cups water
1 tsp oregano (optional)
¼ tsp paprika (optional)
Lemon or lime wedges

Run the red lentils under cold water and wash thoroughly. Heat the oil and add the chopped onions. Sauté for 3-5 minutes and add the red lentils. Mix the ingredients together for approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, water and tomato paste. Give it a stir. Add salt (adjust to your liking) and cook covered under medium heat. When the water starts to boil, turn the heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour until the red lentils are soft. Sprinkle with oregano and paprika. You may choose to squeeze some lemon before eating. Serve hot.

You may also choose to put the soup in the blender or food processor after it is cooked to puree the ingredients. I prefer to feel the texture of the lentils so I do not choose that method.

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Joie de vivre said...

Oh I love red lentils. They cook up so nicely in soups. My favorite soup is a red lentil with carrot and coconut. Your soup looks equally yummy!

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Thank you. Red lentils will never disappoint you. They taste good and thus will make any dish delicious. In most of Turkey, they do add carrots and sometimes potatoes to this soup. I grew up with this soup, so I prefer it this way :)

Sandradb said...

Now, this looks very tasty and tempting - although I don't eat meat, it would something very good to prepare for my family. Thank you for sharing it with us. Bye and greetings from freezing (and I mean freezing) Croatia :-).

Joie de vivre said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! If you want to make the peach dessert with fresh peaches, you shouldn't need to cook it any longer since it already cooks for 4 hours in the slow cooker. Let me know how it goes if you do make it.

Laurie Constantino said...

Red lentil soup is one of my favorites - red lentils are SO GOOD! I even posted about it, giving credit to Turkey for the inspiration. Happy New Year, Nihal!!!

Mediterranean kiwi said...

lentil soup is also a constant favorite in greece - of all the bean dishes in greece i like lentil soup best

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Sandra, thank you. This is great for vegetarians. Although, I think even meat eaters will not miss the meat in this soup. I sure don't.

Joie de vivre, thanks for letting me know. I certainly will try your dessert as it got my attention, but I will wait till this summer when go to a peach farm and pick fresh peaches. I like to go and pick lots of peaches from the farm and cannot decide what to do with all of them. I will let you know when I make it. I love trying new stuff.

Laurie, thanks. I got to check out your recipe too for this soup. I just had it last night again at a friends house and I enjoyed it very much.

Mediterranean kiwi, we all share a very similar cuisine in the Mediterranean region and with red lentils, I am not surprised it's a favorite in Greece too. Thanks for stopping by.

♥Reeni said...

The soup looks delicious! Warm and comforting.