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Merji shorbasi – Red lentil soup

Merji shorbasi - Red lentil soup
Originally a Turkish soup, red lentil soup (mərci şorbası or mərci) has become popular in Baku cafes and restaurants.

The soup is equally tasty as a vegetarian dish or made with chicken stock.

Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 25 min
Serves: 3-4


  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • salt & pepper
  • lemon, crushed red pepper or dried mint to serve


  • Chop the onion and fry in oil or butter. Add the tomato paste and cook together until the onions are soft.
  • Add the diced potato, chopped carrot. Stir well, cover the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Rinse the lentils and add to the pan. Stir to make sure the lentils are coated int the vegetable and oil mixture.
  • Add six cups of water or chicken stock.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are cooked. Skim off any scum that forms on the surface of the soup.
  • Add salt and pepper and blend with a handblender or in a food processor.
  • Serve with a wedge of lemon per bowl and crushed red pepper flakes or dried mint.

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