Mercimek means 'lentil'. In fact when you say "mercimek çorbasi" it's not an open explanation as lentil has diffirent kinds, and also there are different kinds of lentil soups. Due to this we add the adjective to signal it. So the name of the soup I cook is "Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi". The word 'kirmizi' reffers to 'red'. To me that kind of lentil is not red at all. It's rather dark yellow or light orange, but I guess it's called the same in English, am I right?
Lentil soup is one of the most popular soups in Turkey. Whenever you go to a restaurant, check the menu and you'll see "Mercimek Corbasi" almost all of them. You can be sure that it's the red one, not green lentil. "Ezogelin" is another soup which is like lentil soup, and it's also popular on menus, too. (By the way, 'gelin' mean 'bride', and Ezo is a female name. So a word for word translation of it is "Ezo the Bride" hah!)
There are a few ways to cook red lentil soup. You can boil all ingredients in a saucepan then strain for the liquid, or you can saute onions first and then add to soup, or thicken the soup with a bit of roasted flour. I cook my lentil soup all ingredients in one saucepan, but without straining it, I use a blender, and this way it keeps all healthy benefits in! It's way much easier to cook this way, too.
Kirmizi Mercimek Corbasi ~ Red Lentil Soup
1/2 cup red lentil
1 big onion
1 medium potato
1 medium carrot*
2 cups water + 1 cup extra water
1 tsp salt
for butter sauce
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp dried mint
1. Cut onion, carrot (which I didn't use as no carrot left at home) and potato into four wedges. Put onion, carrot, potato, and lentil in a medium saucepan. Add two cups of water and cook it on medium heat until the potatoes go soft, and lentils get peeled off.
2. With a hand blender, blend all mixture in the saucepan.
3. Put the saucepan back on heat, add salt and 1 cup boiling water. (In fact the amount of the extra water depands to you. If you like thicker soup then add less water, or if you like it thinner then add more water. But the amount I give here is the ideal.)
4. In another small saucepan, melt butter and let it fry a bit. Then add, and stir pepper and mint into butter. Pour the sauce into the soup, and stir till it boils. Serve -hot-!
Hint: You can also keep the butter sauce seperated, and drizzle on top of soup when you serve it.