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Daughter-in-law's Spicy Lentil and Bulgur Soup (with quinoa) – Ezo Gelin Corbasi

Soups have a special place in Turkish cuisine and the meals mostly start with a soup. 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. At Waitrose supermarket the other day, I came across with bulgur wheat mixed with red and white quinoa. Quinoa is a grain like crop from South America, rich in protein, iron and potassium; another super food like the bulgur and lentils. I haven’t tried this nutty, wholesome grain before and gave it a try at my spicy lentil soup.

The result was a wonderfully tasty, nutty, wholesome soup, nutritious and affordable. This lentil soup is also a great example of how we add flavor to our dishes thru spices like dried mint and red pepper flakes. Named after the bride “Ezo” who managed to impress her in-laws with this heartwarming soup, it 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.

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

290 gr/1 cup split red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely diced
45 ml / 2 tablespoons coarse bulgur wheat and 1 tbsp red and white quinoa, rinsed and drained
Or just 3 tbsp coarse bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained
1.75 litres / 7 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
60 ml / 4 tablespoons tomato paste
30-45 ml / 2-3 tablespoons 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 (and quinoa, if used), onion, carrot 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 add the butter (or olive oil), the dried mint, the red pepper flakes 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 and crusty bread aside.

Afiyet olsun and wish you all a good week ahead,


16 Responses to Daughter-in-law's Spicy Lentil and Bulgur Soup (with quinoa) – Ezo Gelin Corbasi

  1. Kristina November 10, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Hey there! I just found your blog through your comment on 101 Cookbooks – I clicked over because I recently spent some time in Turkey (in January 2011) and red lentil soup was one of my absolute favorite things while I was there. I ate it literally every day, and I loved how each restaurant put their own unique spin on it, but the essential flavor palate was always familiar. Now whenever I eat lentil soup it takes me back to Istanbul. I will have to try this version soon!

  2. Ozlem's Turkish Table November 14, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Hi Kristina:)

    So lovely to hear your positive experience in Turkey and enjoying the lentil soup – it is one of my favorites too, I can eat every day!
    I hope you enjoy my version, afiyet olsun!

  3. Ramzi October 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    It sounds so yummy , I will do it tonight for my sweet family. Love you mummy

  4. Luke December 8, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    That soup is amazing I’m eating it now thank you so much turkish food is my favourite cuisine I will be trying many more of your recipes 🙂

    • Ozlem December 8, 2012 at 11:57 am #

      Hi Luke,
      You are very welcome! So glad you enjoy the ezo gelin soup 🙂 anything I can help, please let me know!:)
      Afiyet olsun,

  5. Stephanie M. March 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    This soup is so amazing. I am American and have lived in Ankara for about 7 months. I have struggled with learning how to make Turkish cuisine, but your website makes it so easy to learn with your step by step instructions. I made this soup for my Turkish boyfriend last night and he loved it very much. I love it too. I am actually making it again for my lunch and dinner today. I have tried this, your Turkish rice, the kofte, the yogurt with cucumber and mint, and a few other recipes and they have all been hits with my boyfriend. Thanks so much for your website. I am addicted and basically get most my dinner meals from it now :)))



    • Ozlem Warren March 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

      Merhaba Stephanie, I am delighted to get your note; no better compliment than hearing recipes are enjoyed and well used: ) Food has such a big importance in Turkish culture, I am sure your Turkish boyfriend greatly appreciates all your efforts! Afiyet olsun to you both, cok selamlar, Ozlem

  6. Kirsten August 1, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi Ozlem!!! I thought of you today and decided to make your daughter-in-law soup just now! Since it’s “spontaneous” and I haven’t been to the grocery yet for the week, I am substituting celery for onion and lime for lemon – but everything else was in the pantry! 🙂

    Hope you are doing well, friend!!! I miss you!

    • Ozlem Warren August 2, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      Hellos from Istanbul, dear Kirsten, so lovely to hear from you, hope you enjoy your Ezo Gelin corba, your additions sound great – I love the thought of using ingredients in your pantry! Miss you too, much love, Ozlem xx

  7. Kayls March 11, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    Thanks, in all of my 15years togther with my husband i have tryed so many ezogelin recipes (my favourite), my husband always said its nice but missing something….until i finally did your recipe and it was perfect ezogelin….looking forward to trying more of your recipes …

    • Ozlem Warren March 11, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      Cok tesekkurler Kayls, really delighted to hear it : ) So glad Ezogelin passed the test, afiyet olsun!:)

  8. Meri May 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm #

    Ozlem Canim, THIS RECIPE – WOW! I have been living in Istanbul for more than 5 years and have always been addicted to corba. Since becoming vegan, this recipe is now a household staple and beats nearly every single corba I have ever had here. BES YILDIZ!!! Thank you so much for using standard measurements and sharing your cooking wisdom with us. I am now cooking your mercimekli patlican. Kolay gelsin and iyi sagliki gunleri dilerim xxx

    • Ozlem Warren May 18, 2020 at 9:52 am #

      Merhaba dear Meri, many thanks for your kind note, afiyet olsun!! One of our favourite soups, this one is gluten-free too with quinoa – cok sevindim begendiginize, cok sevgiler, Ozlem

  9. Ozlem Warren January 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    thanks for the link!


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