Black Sea Merchimek Chorba is one of the most popular soups of Black Sea Cuisine and can be described as a Red Lentil Soup. This soup is an important part of daily life. It is served mostly in the evening or for lunch before the main meal. And it is a vegan dish.

The name Chorba comes from the Turkish word Corba (Shurpa), which means soup and pronounced differently at the various coasts of Our Lovely Sea. The name Merchimek comes from Turkish word Mercimek which is Lentils in English.

Black Sea Merchimek Chorba consists of basic but very healthy ingredients: Red lentils, onions,  carrots, olive oil, tomato paste, salt, cumin, crushed red paprika and black pepper.

Red lentils cook much more quickly then brown or green lentils. It breaks down easily and is perfect for smooth and creamy soup.

The original recipe of Black Sea Merchimek Chorba comes from the South Coast of Our Lovely Sea where it is usually called Mercimek Chorbasi.

Preparation stage of Black Sea Merchimek Chorba is very simple. Red lentils increase in volume when cooked. Red lentils don’t need to be soaked before cooking and can be fully cooked within 20-30 minutes.

Cooking stage of this dish is also very simple. Saute onions until golden in a pot at heated olive oil. Add tomato paste and cook for one minute. Add chopped carrots and cook for a few minutes. Add the Red lentils and spices. Add water. Stir the mix for 5 minutes at medium heat, close the lid and bring to the boil. Red lentils absorb a lot of water and that’s why add enough water to the soup. Simmer covered mixture for about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes until the lentils are fully cooked. Blend the soup by blender.

For making the soup topping sauce saute in a small saucepan the red paprika powder in the olive oil for 1 minute. Ladle the soup into small soup bowls and sprinkle some of the topping sauce into each one. Serve with wedge cut lemon.

Black Sea Merchimek Chorba should be warm at serving and usually not prepared in advance. Traditionally it served hot immediately after cooking.

You can enjoy Black Sea Merchimek Chorba with friends and family in #BlackSeaCuisine restaurants or at home as it is easy to prepare and it is a very light and healthy dish.

Black Sea Cuisine is simple, tasty and inexpensive.