Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RED LENTIL SOUP (ÇESMİ-NİGAR ÇORBASI-SÜTLÜ KIRMIZI MERCİMEK ÇORBASI

Eating soup is an excellent way to stay hydrated and get most of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Soups also warm the body and help hydration. Soups that contain legumes, whole grains, barley, brown rice or vegetables contain high dietary fiber. Dietary fiber can help maintain bowel health, regulate cholesterol level and blood sugar and help weight loss. Eating soup helps cut your intake of food. Soup can act as an appetite suppressant because it fills you up. If you have a bowl of low-calorie soup prior to a meal, you can reduce your total mealtime intake of food and calories.

A Turkish meal usually starts with a soup (çorba). Soups are generally named after their main ingredient. The most common soups are Red Lentil Soups (Kırmızı Mercimek çorbalari). 
I have diverse lentil soup recipes and will post them in the future.

My kids love this soup. Actually my younger son, Emre’s favorite soup is this red lentil soup. This is absolutely very delicious, nutritious, easy, economic and quick soup. I guarantee you will love it. Just try this recipe you won’t regret it. 



Ingredients:
1 cup red lentil (washed, drained)
1 large onion (2 cups chopped)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp all purpose flour (use whole wheat if you have)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
4-5 cup hot water (chicken/meat stock or can be half water half stock).

Lemon, egg and milk sauce: (This mixture called Terbiye)
1 cup of milk
1egg yolk
2 tbsp lemon juice

Topping: 2 tbsp butter, 1tbsp mint, and 1 tsp Turkish red pepper (Pul biber) or paprika for top


Directions:

  • Sweet the onions with some salt in saucepan or pressure cooker with 1 tbsp olive oil 5 minutes. Then add 4 cups hot water or stock, black pepper and paprika. Stir in the washed, drained lentils bring it to boil cover and simmer 30-35 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very soft. If you cook in pressure cooker and turn the heat off 8-10 minutes after it whistles. Remove from heat and use a submerging hand blender to make the soup smooth.

  •            To make sauce; in a small bowl whisk the egg yolk, flour, milk and lemon juice. Add some hot soup into the egg mixture (tempering) and then pour the mixture slowly into the soup while stirring constantly. Boil couple more minutes and keep the soup warm.  

  •             Melt 2 tbsp butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir in paprika or Turkish red pepper flakes and mint. Stir the mixture until it sizzles. For family type serving just add the butter mixture the soup or for a fancier look just before serving, drizzle hot butter mixture over each serving.See below the pictures.

Hot butter mixture on top of each serving or mixed
Soup topped with Turkish red pepper (Pul biber)
  •  Note: This soup thickens with time and can be thinned with water, milk or chicken broth. 
  •  Serve 6-8 people. ENJOY.






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