Prep ingredients. Peel and finely dice an onion, carrots, and potatoes. Mince garlic, then rinse lentils well under running water.
Add tomato paste, spices. Add tomato paste, mix well, then add all spices and cook till they release their fragrance.
Simmer. Add lentils, and pour in 3 cups of vegetable stock and 4 cups of water. Bring soup to a boil then reduce to a lively simmer over medium heat, cooking for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and the soup has reduced down slightly.
Blend. Once cooked, remove from heat and use a stick blender to blend about two thirds to three quarters of the soup (some texture is good). Taste test to check the seasoning, adding salt or more pepper flakes if necessary, then ladle soup into bowls.
Serve. Serve with a generous squeeze of lemon, a little bit of fresh mint and a drizzle of paprika oil. Fresh pide bread is a must!
Heat olive oil in a saucepan, then add the spices and stir them in. Once it start to bubble or sputter, remove from heat and drizzle over soup.
No need to soak your lentils prior – just give them a good rinse
Season with salt right at the end, if you’re using stock, it might already be salty enough
I used sweet paprika powder – not smoked. The latter would be a little overbearing
Aleppo flakes are a great (and more authentic) alternative to the red pepper flakes if you can source them
Turkish red lentil soup (mercimek çorbasi) is similar to another famous Turkish soup known as ezogelin çorbasi. Ezogelin soup differs in that it uses rice and or bulgar wheat in place of the carrots and potato
Nutrition info is an estimate only. But enjoy - it's good for you!