Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 10 mins

| Cook Time: 30 mins

| Total Time: 40 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Turkish cuisine has so much variety, offering home chefs a range of simple, delicious, and satisfying options to choose. Soups are very common and popular in Turkey and Turkish Red Lentil Soup (known as 'Mercimek Çorbası' in Turkish) is the king. Red lentils are preferred as they cook quickly and break down easier than the green or brown lentils, making them faster to cook and easier to blend for a creamy smooth soup texture.

Red lentils (as are all lentils) packed with nutrition including lots of protein, fiber, and vitamins. Keep them on hand for quick and healthy weeknight meals like this soup. In this recipe, we use our Turkish Herb blend to add classic Turkish flavors curated from fresh dried Mediterranean herbs like dill, oregano, and mint. We add layers of flavor from nutty cumin, fennel seed and a kiss of fruity (mild) heat from the local Aleppo Chilis. Use this blend anywhere you want a pop of unique flavor including fish, meats, salad dressing, dolma (stuffed vegetables), roasted veggies, or stews.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, drained

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup red lentils

  • 1/4 cup quinoa

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1/4 cup white rice

  • 1 tbsp Piquant Post Turkish Herb Blend

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional for more heat)

  • 1 lemon, juiced 

  • Salt & pepper, to taste (optional)


Cook the rice before you begin the soup. Make extra and refrigerate for future use to save time / cleanup. Also, use minute rice if you need to save time.

This is a flavorful, satisfying soup. The colors are bright and earthy, with the Turkish Herbs and red lentils at the forefront of the dish. The soup is also a wonderful palette to add chunks of cooked meat like chicken, sausage, or steak.

Tip: reduce or eliminate cayenne pepper if you don't want heat in your dish.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don't sweat it if you don't have them.


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook 2 - 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken stock, water, quinoa, rice, tomato paste, Turkish Herb Blend, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils and rice are cooked.

Pour the soup into a blender, keeping it less than half full (blend it in multiple batches if need be). Start the blender slowly, pulsing several times before pureeing the soup. Puree the soup until smooth and serve with lemon wedges for garnish.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Meat lovers: try adding in diced cooked chicken or sausage to the soup for a heartier meal.

  • Try using the Turkish Herb Blend to make our fabulous vegan Stuffed Eggplant (Imam Bayildi) or savory Turkish Baked Cod recipes. Or, make an authentic Turkish flatbread known as Bazlama, perfectly seasoned with our spice.  

  • Use the Turkish Herb Blend to add a pop of flavor in a wide variety of dishes. Try it in ratatouille, zucchini fritters, avocado toast, or Mediterranean turkey burgers.

  • Or, keep it simple and add the Turkish Herb blend to olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a homemade vinaigrette.

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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