Mercimek çorbası (lentil soup)
Lentil Soup is a staple here in Turkey. Being a vegetarian, this is often my go-to dish because most restaurants, even with meat-heavy menus, are sure to have a nice bowl of Mericmek çorbası to fall back on. You can make it with either red or green lentils but this recipe calls for red. As they say in Turkish, Afiyet olsun! or "Bon appetit".
1 cup red lentils
6 cups water
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp red pepper paste (or tomato paste if you can't find pepper)
1 finely chopped onion
1 grated carrot
2 tbsp olive oil or slighty less butter (olive oil is always a healthier alternative)
Melt olive oil or butter in a pan and saute the onion. Add flour and pepper paste and saute another 2 minutes. Add the carrot, lentils and water and cover. When it starts to boil, mix and cook until lentils get softer (about 20-25 minutes). Put soup in a blender or food processor to blend until smooth.