Mercimek Corbasi (Turkish Red Lentil Soup)

This pureed Turkish red lentil soup is both flavorful & economical.

Mercimek Corbasi (Turkish Red Lentil Soup)

This pureed Turkish red lentil soup is both flavorful & economical.


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion ( small dice)
  • 1 carrot (small dice)
  • 1.5 cups red lentils
  • 3 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground sumac
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 cups water
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 lemon (cut in wedges for garnish)
  • Splash of olive oil (as garnish)


  • Heat olive oil in soup pot.
  • Add onion and cook on medium-low heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add carrots and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Add dry spices and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the water and lentils and fresh thyme and bring liquid to a simmer.
  • Cook lentils for 20-22 minutes covered.
  • Remove lid, and stir contents to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Continue cooking without the lid for an additional 10 minutes, or until the lentils are completely tender and soft.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt & freshly ground black pepper.
  • Puree the soup using an immersion blender or table-top blender.
  • Serve hot, with crusty toasted bread, a splash of olive oil, and lemon wedges.


Red lentils cook fairly quickly compared to larger dried beans, which makes them an ideal ingredient for a quick pureed soup--with no overnight soaking required.
This pureed soup can be frozen and tastes wonderful re-heated.
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