Turkish Lentil - Mercimek Soup

Turkish Soups, Our Top Ten – Part 1 Leave a comment

No Turkish dinner is complete without soup. This is national fact and is in the Turkish constitution and punishable by law should a Turk dare to neglect his dose of soup with his dinner. In fact, soup can often be dinner. Ok, so we are exaggerating a bit, but it is true that Turkish people love their soup and so do we, so we’ve put together a list of our top five favourite Turkish soups.

#1 Lentil Soup – Mercimek Çorbası

This one is -everywhere-. It’s the undisputed king of all Turkish soups. Every restaurant, cafe, street vendor and of course every kitchen throughout Turkey. There are millions of varieties thanks to the culinary innovative Turkish mothers. Traditionally made with red lentils, onions, tomatoes, peppers, tomato and/or pepper paste, dried mint, Urfa chilli flakes.

#2 Ezogelin Soup – Ezogelin Çorbası

Ezogelin soup is the stuff of legends. Ezogelin literally means Ezo the Bride, whose lifestory and eventual invention of the soups recipe is where the name for this Turkish soup comes from. Very similar to Red lentil soup, Ezogelin is instead with “bits” (not strained like red lentil soup) and also has Bulgur wheat and Baldo grain rice.

#3 Tarhana Soup – Tarhana Çorbası

Tarhana is a mix of ground/chopped vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, onions with Turkish yoghurt which is then fermented before it is dried in the sun heat and cut up for ease of storage. Fairly easy and straight forward to make it once this arduous process is done and a lot of ready mixes are available through out Turkey and on The Turkish Shop, of course.

My personal favourite way of having Tarhana soup is to add a little bit of real Ezine cheese, that is full fat cow cheese made according to the traditional methods of Ezine region in Northwestern Turkey. It mixes perfectly well to make it an even creamier and richer experience. Recipe here.

#4 Yayla Soup – Yayla Çorbası

This soup is as Turkish as it gets. Yayla soup is another fermented yoghurt based Turkish soup but Yayla doesn’t have red peppers or tomatoes. Instead it focuses on green vegetables and herbs giving it a thick, creamy and refreshing flavour. We’ll soon be posting a home made recipe for Yayla Soup so keep your eyes peeled or just go ahead and cheat with Knorr Traditional Yayla Soup here.

#5 Tomato Soup – Domates Çorbası

Just reading “domates çorbası” makes my mouth all juicy. I have the smells and aromas ingrained to my memory which danced out of the kitchen every time mum was in the kitchen cooking this legendary simple concoction of a Turkish soup. Believe me Heinz doesn’t have a clue! It’s all really, really simple as I mentioned, the secret I’m told is the butter, vine tomatoes, and organic flour for extra creaminess. Recipe coming soon.

What are your favourite Turkish soups? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them in Part 2.


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