Serves 4
10 minutes prep, 45 minutes cooking

Region: Eskişehir, all regions

This is a popular soup all over the country. It is traditionally consumed in small quantities at the beginning of a meal, unlike other soups, which are treated more like a main course. You can substitute beef, chicken or vegetable stock for the boiling water in this recipe.


  • 150 g / 1 cup / 5 oz split yellow lentils, washed
  • 100 g / 3 1/2 oz potato, quartered
  • 1 (120 g / 3/4 cup / 4 oz) medium onion, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika

The Turkish CookbookThe Turkish Cookbook
by Musa Dağdeviren


In a large saucepan over medium heat, add 1 litre (4 1/4 cups / 34 fl oz) water, the yellow lentils, potato and onion with 1 teaspoon salt, bring to the boil, and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook for a further 25 minutes, until the soup thickens. Skim the surface using a slotted spoon.

Remove from the heat and mash the contents of the pan. Add 1 liter (4 1/4 cups / 34 fl oz) boiling water, the cumin, turmeric and white pepper and whisk for 1 minute. Return

to the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes.

To make the sauce:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the white pepper and paprika and cook for 5 seconds.

Drizzle the sauce over the soup and serve immediately with wedges of lemon.

From The Turkish Cookbook by Musa Dağdeviren. Photography by Toby Glanville. Copyright 2019 Phaidon.