Mercimek çorbasi: Turkish lentil soup with cumin and yogurt

This recipe for Mercimek çorbasi has been with me for about 30 years. Because turkey soup with red lentils is one of my favorite soups. It’s not just because of the unbearably good taste to me, but also for personal reasons.

Mercimek çorbasi was first cooked for me by a friend in the late 80’s. I was shocked the first time I ate a spoonful. The soup is an irresistible taste to this day. I also like a bit of lemon zest. And I like to eat legumes anyway.

After dancing all night at a Berlin party, concert or club night, we sat in the kitchen around 4pm at the latest and cooked Mersimek Chorvasi. Then enjoyed with a spoonful of sour yogurt. The station wagon has brought us back to life stably and we enjoyed the familiar and cozy bliss. Then we went to the couch – fully aware that there was still soup. And want more Turkish delicacies? Then look here.

pin it

Mercimek By the way, I mean lentils. Corvash Just soup as a tip for your next visit to a Turkish restaurant. Here are the recipes for both the classic Turkish salads Piyaz and Mercimek çorbasi. Nouriye, my friend’s mom. However, there is one difference from the original. We always deglaze sweat-soaked lentils, onions and garlic in white wine.

Incidentally, lentils are one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. It has been adapted to local tastes and preparation preferences for thousands of years. It is full of fiber, protein and nutrients like magnesium, zinc and iron. So Mercimek çorbasi is just what you need after dancing the night away.

Aerial view: A bowl of Mercimek çorbasi stands on the table.  Red lentil duo.  Next to it are tomatoes and fresh parsley.

pin it

Turkish Lentil Soup Specialty: Mercimek çorbasi


Colorful, healthy and delicious Turkish soup Mercimek çorbasi


  1. Wash the lentils well and drain the water. Finely chop the shallots and garlic and fry in olive oil. Add lentils and cumin and stir. After 1-2 minutes, deglaze with white wine and reduce the amount. Top with tomatoes and broth.

  2. Season the soup with dry chili (if you like it spicy), salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes. In the meantime, finely chop the parsley leaves. Lightly salt the yogurt and mix with a few drops of olive oil.

  3. Then puree the finished soup with a hand blender and season again with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice. Garnish with parsley leaves and yogurt chunks and serve with the remaining yogurt.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *