This Turkish red lentil soup is a very simple yet delicious recipe. Very earthy and with a silky smooth buttery flavor.
A very easy and comforting red lentil soup, earthy, buttery, and silky smooth, paired with the right toppings is a true delicacy.
This Turkish lentil soup is a comfort dish like no other. When paired with the right toppings, it’s practically to die for. The instant pot gives us a quicker meal and simpler prep making this authentic Turkish lentil soup recipe a perfect weeknight meal choice.
Serve this insta pot red lentil soup recipe when someone in the family is feeling under the weather or when the weather outside gets chilly and it’s sure to hit the spot.
What is Turkish Red Lentil Soup?
Also called Mercimek Corbasi, this soup has many different variations, some of which are more elaborate and have even more ingredients than ours.
This is the basic and most well-known and appreciated version of the soup recipe in Turkey. It is considered to be a healing soup and be very soothing for the stomach, and with the right toppings, it can be a very comforting and flavorful bowl of goodness.
Ingredients you’ll need for turkish red lentil soup:
For the soup, you will need:
- Red lentils
- Chicken stock– vegetable stock works great as well
- Onion– you can use a regular white or yellow onion
- White flour
Optional toppings, you may want:
- Lemon wedges
- Black olives
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Chilli flakes
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup
Place the lentils into a medium-sized bowl and add in enough water to cover them.
Stir the lentils and gently massage them with your hands. This will turn the water into a milky/cloudy color and this is the excess powder/starch being released from the red lentils.
Change the water from the bowl and repeat this process a few times, or until the water can run clear. Set the lentils aside.
Add to Instant Pot
Peel and cut an onion into quarters and place them aside.
Add the washed lentils to your instant pot along with the quartered onion, salt, and chicken stock.
Close the lid and then set it to pressure cook for 15 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, prep the toppings into small bowls. We provided suggestive toppings and you can use them or whatever you want but lemon wedges are a classic topping choice.
Slice the lemon into wedges and give one per serving.
Chop the fresh parsley.
Prepare the bread croutons or use some storebought ones.
Prepare the yogurt, olives, and chili flakes into separate small bowls.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and melt it over medium heat. Add in the flour and let it cook over low heat while moving it around constantly to prevent it from burning. Once browned, set it aside. If your roux is too thick, add in a splash of water to make it runnier.
Once the instant pot has finished cooking, do a quick pressure release.
Add in the roux and blend it together until the soup looks smooth and silky texture.
Serve the soup in bowls and add your favorite toppings for garnish.
The toppings are only suggestions and are optional, however, these are the traditional ones. If you have to choose only one, go with the lemon wedges, since this soup is always served with some to have a nice squeeze of lemon juice on top of it. It is kinda mandatory indeed.
Serve hot and enjoy.
Unlike the soups that you may be used to, Turkish soups are usually more watery and light making them perfect for a lighter meal, lunch, or a simple appetizer.
As you may have guessed this Turkish lentil soup recipe is vegetarian and can easily be made vegan by choosing vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
Red lentils are packed with vitamin B, potassium and are very high in fiber making them a nutritious part of your diet. Keep in mind that they will grow as they cook so it may not look like there’s enough when you first start out but as they cook and grow you’ll see you can easily get multiple servings from this soup recipe.
Fun fact– Even though red lentils are mostly used in international dishes such as this one or in Mediterranean recipes, the biggest producer and exporter of lentils is actually Canada.
What to serve with mercimek corbasi
A very nice side salad to serve with this soup is the classic Turkish tomato, red onion, green pepper salad, dressed in lots of fresh parsley, lemon, salt, and olive oil.
How long is Instant Pot Creamy lentil soup good for?
It can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and also can be frozen for 3 months. Once you want to consume it, either from the fridge or freezer you might need to add a bit more water or stock since it tends to thick up with cold and time.
Do you have to soak lentils before making soup?
No, you do not have to soak lentils before using them in this instant pot red lentil soup but you will want to rinse them well before using them for the best results. Just like bagged dry beans, rinsing the lentils helps to remove any dirt, debris, dust, or even small rocks that may have been added to the lentils before being packaged and sold. Rinsing also helps to remove excess starches so the overall texture of the dish will turn out perfectly.
If you love this Turkish red lentil soup recipe then you are going to love these other delicious soup recipes:
- Healthy And Hearty Vegetarian Sweet Potato Lentil Soup
- Easy Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
- Mexican Chicken Soup
- Smoky Lentil Chili
- Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup
For the soup:
- 2 cups red lentils
- 8 cups chicken stock/vegetable stock
- 1 onion (regular white or yellow onion)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons white flour
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- Lemon wedges
- Black olives
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Plain greek yogourt
- Chilli flakes
- Put the red lentils in a medium-sized bowl and add enough water to cover them. Stir them and gently massage them with your hands. You’ll notice the water turn milky/cloudy. This is the excess powder/starch being released.
- Change the water and repeat a couple of times until the water runs clear.
- Peel and cut the onion in quarters and reserve.
- Add to your Instant pot the washed lentils, the quartered onion, the salt, and the chicken or vegetable stock.
- Close the lid and set to pressure cook for 15 min.
- While the soup is cooking prep the toppings in small bowls, these are only suggestions and optional toppings, however, do not miss the lemon wedges, since that’s the classic dressing for this Turkish soup:
- Cut the lemon in wedges (one per serving)
- Chop some fresh parsley
- Prep some bread croutons or use store-bought ones
- Prep the yogourt, the olives, and the chili flakes separately in small bowls
- Prepare the roux to add to the soup:
- In a saucepan add the butter and melt it on medium heat, add the flour and let it cook on low heat moving constantly to prevent it from burning. Once it has browned and its aromatic set aside. If it’s too thick add a splash of water to make it runnier.
- Once the Instant pot is done cooking do a quick release.
- Add the roux to the soup and blend it until a very smooth and silky texture is achieved.
- Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings on top