A steaming bowl of Turkish soup or çorba (chor-ba’), accompanied by fresh, crusty bread is like a warm hug from mom. You wouldn’t be able to think of better comfort food, especially during the cold, rainy days of winter.

In Turkey, soup is served as the first course at both lunch and dinner and is also a common choice for breakfast in many Anatolian homes. During the holy month of Ramadan, the daily fast is always broken with soup, fresh bread, olives, and cheese—light fare that is easy on the stomach after a day of fasting.

Mercimek Çorbası

Red Lentil Soup 

  • ½ cup Red lentils, washed and drained
  • 1 Yellow onion, medium size, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 10 cups Beef stock (or vegetable stock)

For the roux

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour

For service

  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1 Lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  1. In a large pot combine the lentils, onions and beef stock. Add salt and start cooking over medium heat until the lentils and onions melt, approximately about 35-40 minutes. Pass the soup through a sieve or use a hand blender to make a smooth soup. To prepare the roux, in a small pan melt the butter and add flour and cook for about 10 minutes until the flour smell is gone. Add this roux to the soup and mix well. In a separate pan melt the butter and add the red pepper flakes and take off the heat immediately as to not burn the peppers. Serve this butter sauce over the lentil soup along with lemon wedges.