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Turkish Lentil Soup (Mercimek Çorbası)

Turkish Lentil Soup, a traditional Turkish soup made with red lentils, vegetables and spices blended into a smooth silky texture. Perfect for a starter or traditionally eaten at breakfast.

This recipe uses Turkish red pepper paste. Our recipe for homemade pepper paste can be found here. We believe it’s worth the extra effort to make your own.

Sweet Pepper Paste Recipe
Red Pepper Paste (Biber salçası)
Roasted sweet red peppers turned into a thick paste ready to use in recipes or as a condiment.
Check out this recipe

Turkish Lentil Soup (Mercimek Çorbası)

A traditional Turkish soup made with red lentils, vegetables and spices blended into a smooth silky texture.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 large stalk celery diced
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1 potato diced
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 sprig parsley chopped
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • Sumac and Aleppo pepper for garnish


  • Thoroughly pick over and wash the lentils. Peel and dice the potatoes. Set them aside for later.
  • Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot add the diced onion, celery and carrot with a pinch of salt. Cook until the carrot has begun to soften and the onion is translucent. Around 6 minutes.
  • Add the pastes and spices, red pepper paste, tomato paste, ground cumin, paprika, salt, and cracked black pepper. Stir everything to coat the vegetables in the pastes and spices. Continue to cook for a further 1 minute.
  • Now add the potato, red lentils and the water, mix everything together then bring to a boil. Once boiling turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the red lentils are soft and falling apart.
  • Turn off the heat and using either a hand blender or by transferring into a blender, blend the soup until smooth.
  • If the soup seems too thick you can thin it out with some water.
  • Serve hot with a garnish of parsley, sumac and Aleppo pepper. Squeeze over a wedge of lemon before eating.


Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Reheat in a pot using a whisk to remove any lumps. Soup will turn solid when kept in the fridge but will return to liquid when heated up.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mikeronm or tag #theveganplanetkitchen!

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