Mercimek Çorbasi - Turkish Lentil Soup

I saw an article that mentioned Turkish Lentil Soup and decided to google it. It looked simple and delicious, and the real selling point was the half a bag of lentils in the cabinet. My kids like soup any time of year, my son in particular would prefer all his meals come with broth.


2 Tbsp butter
Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Pul biber or gochugaru
1 Tbsp paprika, I used smoked
1 1/2 c. red lentils
1 eggplant
8 c. chicken stock
Pepper to taste

Paprika oil
Fresh chopped mint
Lemon wedges

Peel the eggplant and cut it in to 1/2 inch cubes. Drizzle with the olive oil and roast at 375 for about 20 minutes until browned in some spots.  

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large soup pot. Saute the onion until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and pepper flakes and and cook while stirring for a few minutes more until fragrant. Stir in the chicken broth. We all know that chicken stock really does make the best soups but I didn't happen to have any on hand this time so I went with water and bouillon. Even the mediocre bouillon I had on hand worked well enough in this dish with all the other flavors. 

Add the lentils, paprika, and pepper, and simmer. But the time I got to this point the eggplant had been in the oven long enough to brown some and I put it in to finish cooking in the liquid and get soft. 

Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring often. The lentils tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. Also check that the soup doesn't get to dry and thick, the lentils tend to absorb a lot of liquid. 

Serve with paprika oil, fresh chopped mint, and lemon wedges. 

Paprika Oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp. paprika

Stir it together and let sit for a few minutes. I made while the lentils were cooking. 



  1. I had never come across a Turkish lentil soup but this sounds interesting. Perfect for winter.

  2. I'm unfamiliar with Pul biber and gochugaru what is it and where do you find it?

    1. Pul biber is a dried pepper powder that is used in the middle east for spice. Unlike cayenne pepper though it has a lot of flavor as well. Penzies carries it. I do a lot of Korean cooking though and the Korean pepper flake, gochugaru, is very similar in both taste and flavor and is usually cheaper and easier to attain from any Korean market.

  3. I really adore lentil soup. Will have to try your version.

  4. I'm not familiar with Turkish Lentil soup but this version sounds interesting.


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