Mercimek Çorbasi (Turkish Red Lentil Soup)

Turkish lentil soup garnished with fresh mint and spices in a white bowl.

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5 from 5 reviews

Spicy red lentil soup with potato, onion and carrot flavors.



  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed well

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 medium carrot, chopped

  • 1 small potato, chopped

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons dried mint

  • Salt to taste

  • 6 cups water


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon dried mint


  1. Combine lentils, onion, garlic, carrot, potato and spices in a large pot. Pour water over them. Cook it uncovered until it boils over medium high heat.

  2. Bring the heat to medium low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally until everything is tender.

  3. Blend it until smooth using an immersion blender (aka hand blender) or a food processor. Put it back over the lowest heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

  4. For the olive oil sauce, put olive oil, tomato paste, paprika and dried mint in a sauce pan. Mix them well and cook for 30 seconds or so.

  5. Either pour the sauce in the pot and stir everything well or pour it over the bowls when serving.


  1. This Turkish lentil soup recipe isn't supposed to be very thick. So, if you see yours becoming too thick, add about 1/2 cup of hot water before removing the soup from the heat. Whisk it in well.
  2. For this recipe, you can use any type of blender or food processor that you have. If you don't have any, you can pass them through a fine-meshed sieve. Or, you can just leave it as-is (chunky).
  3. Be careful when blending as the soup will be really hot.
  4. To reheat, add a little bit of water, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup. When the soup sits in the fridge, it thickens up quite a lot. And as we’ve said, it shouldn’t be a thick soup.
  5. You don’t have to add the oil sauce to this soup, but we highly recommend it. It deepens the flavor and adds some color.