Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi - Turkish Soup

Kirmizi Mercimek Çorbası | Turkish Red Lentil Soup

A hearty family soup perfect for those cold winter days!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Turkish
Keyword Red Lentils
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Celery Stick, finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g Red Lentils
  • 400g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 600ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp Vegetable Boullion (Vegan)
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste


  1. In a large saucepan with a lid, add the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onions - fry for a few minutes until soft (no need to brown)

  2. Add the garlic and celery and fry for another few minutes until just before the garlic starts to brown

  3. Add the red lentils and stir well for a few minutes to warm the lentils

  4. Add all the spices and combine well for a couple more minutes to wake up the spices 

  5. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes and stir

  6. In a jug pour in the hot water and add the vegetable bouillon, then add to the saucepan carefully and stir well

  7. Once the soup starts to boil, simmer for around 25 minutes and cover until the lentils are cooked. Stir occasionally and add a few splashes of water if you see the soup is a little too thick

  8. After 20 minutes, season with a little salt and pepper to your tasting and add the lemon juice and stir, cook for a few more minutes covered

  9. Carefully remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside with the lid on for 10 minutes or so for the soup to cool slightly

  10. In a food processor, carefully transfer the soup using a spoon or ladle, and whizz up for 30 seconds at a time until the soup is creamy (If you see it's a little thick, add a few splashes of hot water and this will loosen it)

  11. Serve immediately or cover and cool then store in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Just make sure it is hot and cooked through when reheated. 

  12. Enjoy with a dollop of Greek/Turkish yoghurt on top and some coriander leaves  and enjoy with a side of warm bread to mop it all up!