This soup is a winter warmer for Turkish cuisine and it is served as a starter in Turkish meals. It is accepted as a main curer especially for sick times. In the rural parts of Turkey and in the town lokantas, people often have soup for breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. Lentil soup may include vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, celery, parsley, tomato, pumpkin, and onion. Common flavorings are garlic, cumin, olive oil, and vinegar. It is sometimes garnished with croutons or chopped herbs or butter, olive oil, cream or yogurt. To make Mercimek Çorbas?, it’s best to soak the lentils and make the chicken stock the day before cooking. Ideally the lentils should be pre-soaked for 12 hours, but if that is not possible, make sure you rinse them well under cold running water.

A simple recipe is as follows:

1 large chopped onion

1 large carrot

1 mug of red split lentils

6 mugs of chicken stock

Large knob of butter (Not margarine

Salt, pepper and cumin

Peel and chop the onion and carrots. Fry in the butter until they start to soften, but are not browned. Add the lentils and stock, with some seasoning. Simmer over a gentle heat until the lentils are soft. Blend in a food blender. Season with salt, pepper and cumin to taste. For an extra flourish, add a sprinkle of paprika to the bowl. Serve steaming hot with wedges of lemons. Squeeze liberally in to the soup to taste. Some nice crusty bread makes a perfect accompaniment!


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