Turkish cuisine

How to cook Mercimek çorbası ?

The recipe for Mercimek çorbası or lentil soup

As you may have seen in numerous Turkish TV series, Turkish cuisine is very colourful and, may I add, tasty. Among the numerous dishes, there is no shortage of soups. Today I will show you the recipe of one of the simplest and most loved, soups, the Mercimek çorbası.


  • Here are the ingredients to prepare Mercimek çorbası.
  • 2 glasses of peeled red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 potato
  • 1 carrot
  • Half a golden onion
  • water as needed
  • salt
  • pepper or chilli

How to prepare Mercimek çorbası

Let’s start rinsing the lentils and put them to the side. Dice the carrot and onion and sauté a little with a drizzle of oil. We add the potato cut into small pieces and mix.

Add the lentils and cook for about 1 minute, stirring. After having “seasoned” it with salt and pepper, add the hot water and tomato paste. We then cover the soup and let it cook, checking it often. In fact, the peeled lentil absorbs water well and cooks very quickly, so if needed, shock it with a cold glass of water. This helps bring out more of its natural flavour.

Cooking times are short. Check the progress of the cooking after only 20 minutes. It can be extended by 5 minutes or so, until the soup is perfectly cooked. Mercimek soup can be eaten hot or cold, in winter or summer. I can say that this soup is an “evergreen” of traditional Turkish cuisine.


My mom used to add the juice of half a lemon and a sprinkle of chilli pepper to it. We always accompanied the soup with homemade bread … either pide or lavaş.

I hope this Mercimek çorbası recipe has intrigued you and made you want to try this delicious soup. I must say that children also like it a lot, as its taste is really delicious and savoury.