Ezo Gelin Corbasi
In Turkey, soups are favorite preparations during the winter. One forgets how cold it gets in the Mediterranean and these soul-satisfying soups are quite perfect for warming up and feeling good about exorcizing that piercing chill. In this recipe, known as the bride’s soup (ezo gelin çorbası) because it is the soup made for the soon-to-be married young maiden, red lentils, thought of as “soup” lentils by Turkish cooks because they disintegrate rapidly, is balanced by the earthy taste of cracked wheat and the mellow hint of mint.
[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation Time: 1 1/4 hours
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 quarts vegetable or veal and chicken broth
1 medium-large onion, grated
1/4 cup coarse or medium bulgur, rinsed
1 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried mint
Put the lentils, broth, onion, bulgur, tomato paste, butter, and salt into a large saucepan. Bring to a very gentle boil over high heat, about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to very low and cook until the lentils and bulgur are tender and the soup has a creamy consistency, about 1 hour. Stir in the paprika and mint and cook 5 more minutes and serve.