Red Lentil & Bulgur Soup with Mint & Lemon (Ezo Gelin Çorbasi)
Serves 4 – 6
Mildly spicy Ezo Gelin Soup is quick and easy, yet packed with flavor and very filling. Savory pepper and mint oil is drizzled over the soup just before serving, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a refreshing tang. In Turkey, Ezo Gelin Soup is sold in most kebab houses, eaten for breakfast, and used to cure hangovers. It is low in fat, full of legumes and grains, and very heart-healthy. Aside from all that, it tastes delicious. I served this with Algerian Flatbread.
1 cup red lentils
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups diced onion, 1/8” dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper or 1 Tbsp. hot paprika
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup bulgur
6 – 8 cups beef or vegetable stock
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. dried mint
1 tsp. Aleppo pepper (optional)
Make the soup: Spread out lentils on tray and pick through them to remove any little stones, clumps of dirt, and chaff. Rinse and drain lentils.
Sauté onion, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, until it softens and starts to turn golden. Add garlic, Aleppo pepper, and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in lentils, bulgur, and 6 cups of stock, bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils and bulgur are tender and soup has a creamy consistency.
If you prefer your soup smooth, puree it with a stick blender. If soup is too thick, add all or some of remaining stock. Taste and add salt or freshly ground black pepper, as needed.
Make the topping: Warm olive oil in small pan; don’t get it too hot or it will burn the mint. Remove pan from heat and stir in mint and Aleppo pepper.
Serve soup with topping drizzled over it and lemon wedges on the side.