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Turkish Lentil Soup

We are the stories we tell!

Years ago, my husband and I were Peace Corps volunteers in the remote village of Beysehir Turkey.  We were young and very idealistic and were assigned to teach English in the schools.  Speaking very little Turkish, we felt overwhelmed and challenged navigating each day.

After several lonely months, one family opened their home and hearts to us.  It was a passport into each other’s worlds.  As we practiced our Turkish and became familiar with Turkish culture, they shared with us their lives and their dreams.  We cherished ours weekends together sharing meals and friendship.  Their willingness to accept us was such a generous act and a lesson that has endured with us throughout our lives.

I first learned of Turkish lentil soup one memorable fall day. A neighbor of our family hosted us to dinner.  I remember sitting with the mother and daughter of the house as we talked and laughed together.  They embraced me as a daughter and a sister.  They taught me not only how to make this delicious soup but, so much more in life. When I close my eyes, I can see us practicing Turkish and talking about our lives as we sipped Turkish tea, chopped onions, picked fresh tomatoes from their garden and served this yummy soup with fresh baked bread for dinner.  It was a wonderful afternoon that has lingered until now.

Whenever I make this soup, which has become a family legend, I think of that afternoon and smile and, share this story with all my guests and the many life lessons it has taught me.

Opening windows to other cultures is why I am so proud to be a board member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance.   In these challenging times, we especially need to open our hearts and our wallets to help in the work of Alliance whose mission is to promote, connect and support a more diverse and inclusive Chicago.   At this critical juncture, please stand with me in making a difference by making a donation. 

 

TURKISH LENTIL SOUP
(MERCIMEK CORBASI)

 

RECIPE:  6-10 SERVINGS

 

1 medium size onion (chopped finely)

1 medium tomato skinned and blanched or (2 Tablespoons of tomato paste)

1 Teaspoon (or more if desired) of finely chopped garlic

1 Teaspoon of Harissa pepper

3 (32oz) containers of chicken broth

1-2 cups water (as needed)

3 cups dried and rinsed red lentils

1 Tablespoon or more of lemon juice

1 Tablespoon of rich olive oil to coat the bottom of soup pot

Salt & pepper to taste

 

  • Sauté the chopped onion in olive oil over medium heat until transparent and then add chopped garlic and stir and cook another minute

 

  • Add chopped and blanched tomato or tomato paste and mix well,  then add the tsp. of Harissa pepper and mix again until well blended

 

  • Add the 3 containers of chicken broth and mix well and cover the pot until the liquid is at full boil.

 

  • Rinse the dried red lentils and add to the broth and add the Tbsp. of lemon juice

 

  • Cook the soup over medium heat until the lentils are fully cooked.  The soup will thicken and depending upon taste and constituency, you can add more water (or broth) to the soup.

 

  • Add salt and pepper to taste

 

  • Serve each bowl topped with chopped cilantro or parsley and a wedge of lemon or lime to the side for decoration and flavor. 

 

Enjoy!

           

ABOUT Taste from Home

Taste From Home is brought to you by the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Our mission is to connect, promote, and support centers of cultural heritage for a more inclusive Chicago. 

Taste from Home is collection of recipes and stories inspired by the food that defines who we are and where we come from. As we are all home exploring new recipes and cuisines, we encourage you to share a recipe and story with us that connects you to your family and cultural heritage. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today, if you are able. If you are unable to donate, you can still participate by sharing a recipe by using hashtags #tastefromhome, #tastefromhomerecipe, & #chicagocultural on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Supporters
Name Date Amount Comments
Kay Berkson 07/21/2020 $103.30  
Anonymous Friend 07/08/2020 $50.00  
Susan Gzesh 07/08/2020 $25.00  
Rola Kanj 07/08/2020 $50.00  
Wendy Jm 07/08/2020 $80.00  
Amy Gusinow Rubin 06/30/2020 $20.91  
Chris Knutson 06/29/2020 $90.00  
Anonymous Friend 06/28/2020 $44.00  
Roberta Rakove 06/27/2020 $25.00  
Kerstin Lane 06/27/2020 $85.00  
Philippe & Agnes De Dreuzy 06/26/2020 $51.80 This is wonderful, Suzanne!
Karen Goozner 06/26/2020 $62.10  
Paul and Linda Saiger 06/26/2020 $103.30  
Carol Sard 06/26/2020 $103.30 Happy to support Chicago Cultural Alliance,
Wendy Siegel 06/25/2020 $25.00  
Suzanne Franklin 06/24/2020 $100.00  
Benetta Mansfield 06/24/2020 $100.00  
Rob Wheelhouse 06/24/2020 $25.00  
Sharon Kauffman 06/24/2020 $50.00  
Irene Martin 06/24/2020 $90.00  
Noah Franklin 06/24/2020 $100.00  
Julia Lieblich 06/24/2020 $50.00  
Lara MacMillan 06/24/2020 $32.99  
Craig Duff 06/24/2020 $73.31  
Ruth Sikes 06/24/2020 $50.00  
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  Total $1,650.01  
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