Thursday 9 August 2012

Mercimek çorbasi (Red Lentil Soup)

From Turkey: The Turkish Kitchen, Miller Books, 2008.

It’s freezing cold tonight so I headed for a lentil soup. They are always tasty and so comforting.

This one was begun by melting a tablespoon of butter in a pan, then adding an equal amount of flour. It was stirred until it began to colour slightly.

At this stage 150 g of red lentils were added with a chopped onion and a carrot cut into pieces. A tablespoon of tomato paste went in also. These were stirred for a minute or two.

Next into the pot went a litre of stock and two chopped garlic cloves with a little salt. The pot was brought to the boil and then simmered for about 20 minutes. With a stick blender the mixture was pureed.

At this stage it was a reasonable lentil soup. The next stage, however, worked magic and brought it to another level of flavour.

Two teaspoons of dried mint and one teaspoon of chilli flakes were added to a tablespoon of butter in a pan over quite high heat. The mixture soon bubbled and frothed. After a few seconds the soup was added to this and it was all stirred together. Now that the soup had the wonderful flavour of mint and the extra heat of chilli added to it it was a soup not to be missed.

I’ll certainly make this one again. Served with lemon slices to add more flavour, this had all the comfort I needed on this very cold night.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔✔

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