Red Lentil Soup Ramadan 5


I want to share another Ramadan tradition that is still alive especially in small cities. As it’s hard for traditions to survive in big cities, they are mostly seen in towns or small cities where people have more intimate relationships. On the other hand, people in big cities are always complaining that they don’t have these old traditions any more. One of theRamadan traditions I love is that neighbors send dishes to each other. And this is mostly the responsibility of the youngest family member. It was mine when I was a child. I remember that mom used to prepare a bowl of the dish of the day for one of our neighbors and tell me to take it to the neighbor. I must admit that I always wonder what our neighbor cooked on that day as she used to empty my bowl and fill it with the dish she cooked and give it in return, which is the second part of this tradition. That’s why I love it, it’s a very good way of sharing. In this way, you have a richer dinner table. And I think the significance of giving this responsibility to children is to teach them sharing. Mom used to decide on another neighbor next day and I used to take the dish to them. I used to walk so fast going and coming back form our neighbor as I didn’t want to miss the time of iftar. And when I heard imam’s voice on the way home, calling for the prayer (which means we can break our fast), I used to start to run! Everything was more exciting those times. But if there is no child in a house, you yourself take the dish to your neighbor. When I talk to mom on the phone these days, she says they still have this tradition in Tarsus, my hometown.

After breaking their fast, peole generally start their meal with a soup to warm their empty stomach. It also has a control on your appetite. When you start with a soup, as it removes the feeling of hunger, you eat enough from the other dishes. You always want to eat more if you don’t have a warm soup at the beginning. Among the soups I learnt from mom, red lentil soup is my favorite. Our negihbors used to love it, too. One bowl was never enough for them, so mom used to send them a small pot full of this soup. This is a traditional Turkish soup and you may find it at every Turkish restaurant at any time. Its cooking style may change although the ingredients are mostly the same. Here is mom’s style red lentil soup.

Red Lentil Soup Ramadan 5
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Spicy red lentil soup with potato, onion and carrot flavors.
Serves: 6
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 medium sized carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium potato, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red lentil
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp butter
  1. Heat olive oil in a pot. Saute onion, then add carrot and potatoes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Wash red lentil, drain and add it to the pot. Saute it for 3 minutes. Keep stirring. Pour 6 cups water, add the spices and salt and boil it until the vegetables and lentils get soft enough. If they can easily be mashed when you press with a spoon, it’s done. It takes about 30 minutes over medium heat. Do not cover the pot during this time as it can rise and overflow.
  3. In a small pan, melt the butter. Add flour and mix it continually. When it becomes creamy, pour it into the pot with lentils.
  4. To have a smooth soup, mash everything in the pot using a blender. Then put the pot back on the fire and boil it for 5 minutes. It’s ready to warm your stomach now.
  5. Traditionally, this soup is always served with lemon wedges. When you squeeze it on your soup, its taste is completed. To have the utmost pleasure, I always sprinkle extra red pepper flakes and dried mint on my soup.



  1. OysterCulture says

    I love lentil soup, there is something about it that really warms you from the inside. This soup and a wonderful slice of crusty bread is my idea of heaven!

    What a wonderful story of Ramadan, I am learning so much trough your blog!

  2. says

    Hi, I celebrate Ramadan too and I am so happy to be able to see what people in other parts of the world are having for iftar :)

  3. says

    Lovely soup. I love red lentils and their comforting effect in the body. I do agree that when I feel hungry, a good bowl of soup soothes the stomach.

  4. says

    What an excellent recipe! I’ll have to try it next time I make red lentil soup. I loved reading about the tradition of sharing food…what a wonderful way to teach kids to share!

  5. says

    It is interesting how many different variations of lentil soup exist in Turkey. I’ve tried it with tomatoes, with tomato paste, without, with onions fried only, with raw onions cooked with other veggies and etc, you name it. Your recipe sounds very delicious. This is not how I make lentil soup, so I am intrigued and curious. Will definitely try your recipe next time I make mercimek corbasi.

    Ohh, and I loved your story:)

  6. says

    Oyster- I agree, red lentil soup is heavenly. It sometimes becomes my main dish as I have two or more bowls of it and no more room for another dish :)

    Lisa- This is one of our favorite. Hope you love it when you try.

    Jenn and Cynthia- Happy to hear you love the Ramadan traditions I’m telling here. This month has a very special place in people’s lives here.

    Hana- The dishes for iftar here are countless and I’m trying to share as much as I can. People give a great importance to their dishes during this month and they never feel unwilling to prepare and cook laborious dishes.

    Sophie and Divina- I love to cook red lentils, their smell is fantastic while cooking.

    Faith- I think all people learn a lot during Ramadan. But of course children learn more.

    Natasha and Vrinda- Thank you so much.

    Farida- As you say, red lentil soup has several versions and I’ve tried most of these versions. As a result, I decided on this one. My husband generally do not want to have soup before his meal, but he always wants the second bowl whenever I cook this soup. Hope you love it, too when you try mercimek corbasi.

  7. says

    All I have right now are green lentils, but I will be on the look out for red lentils. This soup sounds like it would hit the spot for an easy dinner soup after work.

  8. Soma says

    Very comforting! I made a similar soup a couple of weeks back, but did not blend the lentils. Love the mint!! I will try it next time.

    we would have friends quite few years back who would do the ramadan & then we would wait for the Iftar time to eat all delicious stuffs 😉

  9. says

    Love lentils!! I was perusing red lentil soup recipes when yours came up. My soup was already simmering, but love the idea of adding a squeeze of lemon juice. I’d have never thought of that.

    This was my first time using red lentils instead of brown. Now I wonder if I can ever go back. These are tasty!

    I used the lemon juice but also added feta cheese and some olive tapenade. yummy!


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