Ezogelin Soup

Ezogelin Çorbası -Turkish spicy red lentil soup

In Eat well, Recipes by RebeccaLeave a Comment

Ezogelin Çorbası, aka Ezogelin Soup, is a traditional Turkish dish that is characterised by a balance of bold chilli, smoky sweet paprika, and refreshing mint flavours. It’s chock-full of grains and lentils that add heartiness to the dish. It’s simple to make and although it’s a spicy and hearty soup, it’s perfect for any time of the year.

Nutritious, delicious, and a side of curious

Ezogelin Soup

This soup is low in salt and saturated fats (if you skip the melted butter topping in the original recipe), and is a good source of dietary fibre, plant-based protein, thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), and heaps of other healthy goodies.

As a curious side note, Ezogelin Çorbası (which translates as “The Soup of Ezo the Bride”) has a pretty interesting backstory that has been weaved into modern Turkish folklore. Have a read on Cook Eat Live Vegetarian’s blog.

The Recipe

Adapted from a recipe in The Sultan’s Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook by Özcan Ozan.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • Brown onion: 1 medium, finely diced
  • Tomato: 1 medium, skinned, seeded, and finely diced (to save yourself time you could substitute this for 80g of tinned whole or diced tomatoes)
  • Red lentils: 1/2 cup (90g)
  • Long grain rice: 1/4 cup (50g)
  • Bulgur wheat: 1/2 cup (50g), preferably fine grit
  • Vegetable stock: 6 cups (~1500mL), preferably no added salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic: 2 minced cloves
  • Tomato paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Paprika: 2 tablespoons
  • Red chilli pepper: 1/2 teaspoon (I used dried cayenne pepper but you could use a fresh chilli)
  • Dried mint: 1 tablespoon
  • Cracked pepper: to serve
  • Lemon: wedges, to serve
  • Croutons or bread: to serve

Allergies and substitutions

The recipe reproduced here contains gluten (bulgur wheat) and dairy products (butter). Quinoa would work well as a bulgur substitute, and olive oil could be substituted for butter.


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and gently cook for about 2 minutes, or until soft but not brown.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, tomato, paprika, and chilli pepper.
  3. Add the lentils, rice, and stock.
  4. Cover the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, lower the temperature to a simmer and leave for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked and the lentils have blended with the stock.
  6. Add the bulgur and mint, season with black pepper, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the soup is too thick you can add a little water.
  7. Serve with lemon, cracked pepper, croutons/bread, and extra mint if desired.

If you make this soup (you really should!) let me know what you think by adding a comment below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Ezogelin Soup - Turkish spicy red lentil soup