Turkish cuisine provides healthy, hearty, delicious food for family and friends.
Find out more

Cookery Classes

I teach Turkish cooking classes in England,Turkey & USA, hope you can join us!,
Find Out More

Tag Archives | Spicy Turkish lentil and bulgur soup

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.

Note: Red pepper paste, biber salcasi, adds a wonderful, rich flavour to the soup. You can make your own red pepper paste, biber salcasi, with my recipe here. If you prefer not to use red pepper paste, you can increase the amount of tomato paste to 5 tablespoons and the pul biber or red pepper flakes to 3 teaspoons or even more, depending on how spicy you would like.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book, available to order at this link

Ezo Gelin Corba and many other hearty soups and authentic, wholesome Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland, Signed copies are now 20 % OFF  at this link , for a limited time and delivered worldwide including the US and Canada.

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 tablespoons coarse bulgur wheat, rinsed and drained
1.75 litres / 7 1/2 cups  water
60 ml / 4 tablespoons tomato paste

15ml/ 1 tablespoon Turkish hot red pepper paste, biber salcasi
30ml /2 tablespoons olive oil

15ml/1 tablespoon dried mint

Juice of 1 lemon

To Serve:
10 ml / 2 tsp dried mint
5 ml / 1 tsp pul biber, red pepper flakes / paprika flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon wedges to serve

Heat the olive oil in a heavy, medium-sized pot and stir in the onions. Cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring often, this will soften the onions. Add the lentils and the water. Cover and bring the pot to the boil. Cook over a medium to low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the bulgur, tomato paste, red pepper paste and dried mint, season with salt and ground black pepper. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes, until the bulgur is cooked. Add some more water if the soup appears to be too thick. Pour in the lemon juice and mix well.

To serve, pour 2 tbsp olive oil in a small pan and stir in the dried mint and pul biber / red pepper flakes. Stir and gently cook over a low heat for about 40 seconds. Pour in this sauce into the soup and combine well.

Serve hot with lemon wedges by the side.

Ezo Gelin Corba; Spicy lentil and bulgur soup; image from my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table by Sian Irvine Photography

Afiyet Olsun,


Continue Reading