Turkish Lentil Soup (Mercimek Çorbası)

Mr Man and I have had the pleasure and good fortune of being able to take multiple trips to Turkey where we’ve enjoyed (read: inhaled) more lentil soups than we can count. It’s usually served as a starter – both at lunchtime and dinner.

Most restaurants seem to serve some form of lentil soup, seemingly made in their own unique style – sometimes with yellow lentils, sometimes with extra spice and herbs, sometimes with rice/bulgar wheat grains running through, but ALWAYS delicious.

It’s super simple to make and comes together in about half an hour so perfect for a quick weekday meal.

A cosy and comforting bowl of creamy, dreamy lentil soup with a drizzle of Aleppo chilli butter [it’s mild and fruity, not spicy!] and a mandatory wedge of lemon for a final hit of flavour. Serve with fresh crusty bread, perfect for dunking.

The humble bowl of lentil soup – delicious, warming and moreish.

It’s super simple, nutritious, naturally gluten-free and for my vegan friends – just swap out of the butter for a neutral oil and it’s good to go.

Oh, and did I mention, it freezes really well! Sometimes I make a double portion, pop it away and it makes for a great fallback meal when we’re running low on either time or fresh ingredients.

Make this soon friends – it’s perfect for these cold, long nights!



Ingredients (4 servings)



  1. Place a large saucepan on medium heat and drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil before adding the onions. Cook down for a few minutes until softened then add the carrot and potato. Stir well and cook down for a further few more minutes until everything is softened up nicely and just starting to catch some colour.
  2. Add the tomato and red pepper pastes, garlic, sugar, cumin, salt and pepper and stir well to combine then add the lentils. Again, stir well to combine.
  3. Add the boiling water and crumble in a stock cube then bring to a simmer then cover with a lid and leave to cook for 20mins.
  4. At this point the lentils should be soft, cooked through and starting to break down. Take the pan off the heat and use an immersion blender to blitz until it’s smooth and creamy.
  5. To serve, add soup to a bowl before drizzling over a tablespoon of chilli butter. Plate up with a wedge of lemon and some fresh bread.

Chilli butter

  1. In a small frying pan, heat the butter on medium-low until just melted, take it off the heat before adding the Aleppo pepper, swirl to combine.

2 thoughts on “Turkish Lentil Soup (Mercimek Çorbası)

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