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Turkish red lentil soup in a bowl from close up

Turkish Red Lentil Soup Recipe (Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi)

This Turkish Red Lentil Soup recipe is a heartwarming, vegan, and gluten-free soup you can make in one pot in 30 minutes. It is also one of the most popular Middle Eastern soup recipes that happens to be so easy to make.
Course Soup
Cuisine Turkish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 193kcal


For the soup:

  • 1 medium-sized onion chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup red lentils picked over and rinsed
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 small potato cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large carrots - chopped approximately 1/2 cup chopped
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or a combination of water and stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Optional Toppings

  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped
  • 1 cup croutons
  • lemon wedges
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • Pinch of Aleppo Pepper, Urfa Chili or red pepper flakes


  • Add onion, red lentils, garlic, potato, and carrot in a medium size heavy bottom pot. Pour in the stock.
  • Bring it to a boil in medium-high heat. Turn down the heat to low and let it cook until lentils are softened and potato cubes and carrots are cooked, 10-15 min. You can check doneness by inserting a knife in one of the vegetables. If it comes in and out easily, it should be good to go.
  • Off the heat, puree the soup using an immersion blender or do it batches using a food processor or blender.
  • Put it back on the heat, bring it to a one last boil.
  • Taste for seasoning and add if necessary. Ladle into bowls.
  • Serve it immediately with croutons, chopped parsley, and lemon wedges (optional).



  • This recipe was originally published in 2014. It has been updated with new images since then. In the earlier version, I didn't have carrots in the recipe, but lately, I like to add them because of the flavor and color. If you watch the video that was published earlier, you will see that I didn't use carrots but please know that you can make this soup with or without carrots.
  • Optional Butter drizzleWhile it takes a few extra minutes to prepare, drizzling it with melted butter is not only the traditional way of serving it but also a wonderful addition to up the flavors of this red lentil soup. To do so, warm up half a stick of salted butter (4 tablespoons) in a small skillet over low heat until lightly browned. Add in 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or Aleppo pepper, if you have it). Then right before serving, drizzle each bowl with a tablespoon of the butter drizzle.
  • Consistency: I followed in the footsteps of my mom and used 8 cups of liquid. However, if you want your soup to be thicker, you can use less liquid or if you want it to be thinner you can add in more. Either way, I recommend making adjustments in half a cup increments.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers bring them to room temperature and store them in an airtight container. When kept refrigerated, your soup should remain fresh and tasty for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: To freeze, bring it to room temperature, place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To Thaw: Remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Heat in a small saucepan before serving.


Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2053mg | Potassium: 571mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 959IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg