Turkish Ezo Bride's Soup (Ezo Gelin Çorbasi)
This beautiful red lentil Turkish soup was created by Ezo, a beautiful woman who though pursued by many a men ended up having a miserable life and not much luck. After moving to Syria in her second attempt for a happy life she is confronted by a difficult mother-in-law. She devises this soup as an offering to her mother-in-law, and nowadays 50 + years after her death it is given to brides before their marriage as protection against what the unknown future may have in hold.
2 cups dried red lentils
½ cup white rice or bulgur
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp paprika
For the topping
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp dried mint
1 tsp Aleppo pepper, optional
- Wash and drain the lentils and the bulgur/rice
- Chop the onion in brunoise
- Mince the garlic in a garlic press
- Peel and finely chop the tomato
1. Place the onion in a medium pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Cook until transparent.
2. Add the paprika and the garlic, stirr around a little and then add the fresh tomato and paste.
3. Add the lentils and then the rice and mix well.
4. Transfer everything to a large pot. Add 8 cups of water or chicken stock boil strongly for a few minutes and skim off any scum or foam with a slotted spoon.
5. Lower the heat and simmer for another 40 minutes or until the rice and lentils are cooked.
6. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice (or simply serve with lemon wedges), salt and pepper to taste, and place soup in a large serving bowl.
7. In a small skillet melt the butter until it sizzles, remove from the heat, and stir in the mint and Aleppo pepper, if you want to make it spicy. Pour over the soup and serve.