Lentil Soup

Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

  • About

This was the first dish I was ever taught in Istanbul – by Hande Bözdogan, founder of the Istanbul Culinary Institute, no less. It’s delicious. She – like Yashim – cooks it like this.


  • butter 75g/3oz
  • onions 2, finely chopped
  • garlic 2 cloves, finely chopped
  • potato 1, peeled and grated
  • cumin ½ tsp, ground
  • red lentils 200g/8oz
  • chicken or meat stock 1.5 litres/3 pints
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil
  • mint small bunch fresh, or 1 tbsp dried
  • pul biber 1 tsp


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan, and gently soften the onions to translucency. Stir in the garlic, potato and cumin, then add the lentils, salt, pepper and stock. Simmer for 25 minutes, covered, until the lentils are soft. You can run the soup through a blender or leave it as it is.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, turn the mint and hot pepper together in the oil, and sprinkle it over the soup.