Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cream of Red Split Lentil Soup -- Ezme Sutlu Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi

I know I've put up a lot of soup recipes, but that's one of the things I think Turks excel at. Salads, boreks and dolmas, fish, and soups!

Of all the great Turkish soups, red lentil is one of my favorites. I make this about twice a month in winter, and my kids just gulp it down.

Once when I made it for a sick friend at short notice, I had to substitute a few ingredients, and found out they worked fabulously as well. So I've indicated substitutions in parentheses.


  • 2 small onions -- 80 g -- (or leeks, or a combo of leeks and onions)
  • 3 tablespoons butter -- 40 g -- (or olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons whole spelt flour -- 12 g
  • 4 cups water -- 1 liter -- (or broth)
  • 2/3 cups red split lentils -- 120 g
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt -- 12 g
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper -- 1 g
  • 1 egg -- 50 g
  • 3/4 cups milk -- 200 ml -- (or plain yogurt)
  • juice of 1 lemon


Saute chopped onion in melted butter for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, blending well. Add water gradually, stirring constantly.

Stir in washed red split lentils. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until red lentils are tender.

Remove from heat and using a stick blender, process the soup until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Return to heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes.

Beat egg and add milk, mixing well. Blend this egg/milk mixture gradually into the soup, stirring constantly. Boil gently for 1 more minute.

Serve hot with lemon juice added to taste.

This recipe is from Samples from Turkish Cuisine by Ayse Baysal.

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