Chef´s Choice – Turkish Cuisine

Turkish Lentil Soup

turkish-flagTurkish cuisine is largely the continuation of Ottoman cuisine, which in turn borrowed many elements from Central Asian, Caucasian, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Greek and Balkan cuisines.

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Aegean region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, köftes and a wider availability of vegetable stews (Türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy (hamsi) and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast (e.g. Urfa, Gaziantep, and Adana) is famous for its variety of kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts such as Baklava, Söbiyet, Kadayıf, and Künefe.


red lentils


  • 200 g red lentils
  • 60 g butter
  • 100 g fine bulgur
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • vegetable stock cubes
  • 50 ml tomato paste
  • 2 tspn sweet paprika powder
  • 1/2 tspn cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried mint leaves, crumbled
  • some chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 fresh lemons, washed and quartered



Prepare about 2 ltr of vegetable stock.

In a large enough saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and fry them until they become golden brown.

Mix in the lentils and bulgur. Stir in the paprika powder.

Add the tomato paste, then the vegetable stock. Stir in the cayenne pepper. Bring the whole lot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about one hour, stirring occasionally, until the soup gets a creamy consistency.

Stir in the mint leaves, then remove the saucepan from the hotplate.

Serve the soup in soup plates or bowls, garnished with fresh mint and quarters of lemon.