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Tomato and Vegetable Soup with Orzo – Sebzeli Seriye Corbasi

This comforting, healthy vegetable soup gets ready in minutes and it is one of my favourites. Soup is an important part of Turkish cuisine and it is served as the first course at meals. In rural parts of Turkey, it is also common to have soup for a substantial breakfast.

As a variety, you can add croutons and some grated cheese over this soup when serving. I also like to add some coarsely sliced avocado in mine. With a squeeze of lemon over the top and little red pepper flakes, it does warm your heart and soul, and makes a wonderful lunch or light dinner.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
400gr/14oz can of chopped tomatoes
60gr/ 1/3 cup orzo
1.2lt/2pints/5 cups of water (or vegetable or chicken stock if you like)
30ml/2tablespoons olive oil
Handful of flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes and wedges of lemon to serve

In a heavy medium sized saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently for about 2 minutes, until it is softened. Add the carrots and can of chopped tomatoes, mix well. Add the stock, season with salt and pepper and bring the liquid to boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Then add orzo and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chopped parsley, check the seasoning and turn the heat off. Serve hot with sprinkle of red pepper flakes over the soup and wedges of lemon and nice crusty bread by the side.

Afiyet Olsun! (means “May you be healthy and happy with the food you eat”)

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Ezo Gelin Corba; Turkish Spicy Red Lentil and Bulgur Soup

Ezo Gelin Corbasi; Spicy Turkish lentil & bulgur soup with dried mint and red pepper flakes; wholesome and delicious

Ezo Gelin Corbasi; Spicy Turkish lentil & bulgur soup with dried mint and red pepper flakes; wholesome and delicious

Soups have a special place in Turkish cuisine and the meals mostly start with them. In Anatolia, it is very common to have soup to start the day, especially in winter. This spicy lentil soup is one of my favorites; rich in fiber and protein, very delicious and easy to make. It is also a great example of how we add flavor to our dishes thru spices. Named after the bride “Ezo” who managed to impress her in-laws with this heartwarming soup, this soup is so delicious and simple to make that you will want to make it all the time! It also freezes very well, so I recommend to make a big batch and freeze some for a heart and soul warming lunch or supper.

Ezo Gelin Corba and many other hearty soups are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, and available to order at this link.

Serves 6
Preparation time – 15 minutes Cooking time – 40 minutes

290 gr/1 cup split red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 onion, finely chopped
45 ml / 3 tablespoon coarse bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained
1.75 litres / 7 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water)
60 ml / 4 tablespoon tomato paste

15ml/ 1 tablespoon Turkish hot red pepper paste – optional-
30-45 ml / 2-3 tablespoon olive oil or butter
15 ml / 1 tablespoon dried mint
10 ml / 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes / paprika flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon wedges to serve

Put the lentils, bulgur wheat, onion and the chicken stock or water together in a pan. Bring to boil and then on a low heat simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until the lentils and bulgur are tender. Then stir in the butter (or olive oil), the dried mint, the red pepper flakes, Turkish hot pepper paste (optional) and the tomato paste, mix well and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until the soup has a creamy consistency. Add the lemon juice and more water if required, then season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Afiyet Olsun,


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