Friday 11 July 2014

Red Lentil Soup (Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi)

This is one of my favourite vegetarian soup since I had it when I visited 'Sultanahmet Koftecisi' in Istanbul. I still dream about this place. I was in Istanbul for holidays and on the recommendation from friends decided to stay in Sultanahmet, close to Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque. We went to 'Sultanahmet Koftecisi' after reading a recommendation on Lonely Planet, this very well known restaurant and it was very crowded but so worth it. The kofte (or "meatballs") are amazing and the stuff that dreams are made of.

I had obscene amounts of delicious food in Istanbul (one of the factors contributing to it being my new favourite city in the world) and this place still stands out.

'Sultanahmet Koftecisi' do an equally good Corbasi (soup) for a starter.

Red Lentil Soup (Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi)


Onion - 1 medium
Potato - 1 large
Carrot - 1 
Oil - 2 tablespoon
Tomato - 2
Red lentil (pink masoor daal) - 1 cup (washed and drained)
Hot water (or Chicken stock) - 6 or 7 cups
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Mint - 1 bunch

Butter - 2 table spoon
Paprika - 1/4 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1 table spoon

  1. In a medium-sized pot add oil.
  2. At medium heat, add chopped onions, sauté them (don't let it get brown).
  3. Add chopped tomato, carrots and potatoes and sauté them for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the washed and drained red lentils, salt and hot water (or chicken stock), stir well.
  5. Cook until the carrots and potatoes are soft. (Approximately 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat).
  6. Let it cool.
  7. Add lemon juice and chopped mint.
  8. With a blender mix the soup thoroughly.
  9. If it is too thick, you can add some more water and adjust according to your sense of taste.
  10. For the garnish in a small frying pan, add butter and melt over low-medium heat.
  11. When it starts spitting, stir in chilli flakes.
  12. Then, pour the butter over the soup.
  13. Garnish with mint twigs and paprika on top.
  14. Serve the red lentil soup while still hot.