Turkish Red Lentil Soup (Kirmizi Mercimek Çorbasi)

“This is true comfort food that tastes like a cross between Cream of Wheat and Lentil Soup. Try to get the red lentils because they cook quicker and lend a lovely orangy color to the finished soup (the lentils cook to a yellow, but the tomatoes make it orange). This soup is usually served before a meal with a dollop of yogurt or tzatiki sauce swirled in.”
1hr 45mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large pot, bring to a boil 10 to 12 cups of water; add lentils, 2 teaspoons salt, cover and reduce heat, letting simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat another pot, over medium heat, and add onions, cover with olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt; once it begins to sizzle, reduce heat to low and cover for about 5 minutes.
  3. To the second pot, add bulgur, pepper, cayenne, and cumin; stir until lightly browned.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, and 4 cups chicken broth; bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Pour the contents of the second pot into the large soup pot with the lentils; cover and simmer until the bulgur and the lentils are soft, about an additional 40 minutes.
  6. You may add additional water if you like a thinner soup (as we do).
  7. Stir in lemon juice or vinegar; serve a dollop of yogurt with each serving, if desired.

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