Ezogelin soup is a nutritious and hearty Turkish lentil soup with wheat bulgur and rice. It's a creamy and flavorful soup with a distinctive texture that's just perfect for a cold winter day.
Ezogelin soup is sometimes referred to as "bride soup" because it was traditionally served at Turkish weddings as a symbol of the bride's culinary skills.
The soup is named after a woman named Ezo from Gaziantep, who was known for her skill in making this soup and serving it to her husband.
It is thought that the soup became associated with weddings because it was seen as a symbol of the bride's ability to provide nourishing and tasty meals for her family.
Today, Ezogelin soup is still sometimes served at Turkish weddings, but it is also enjoyed as a regular part of the Turkish diet and can be found on the menu at restaurants and cafes throughout Turkey.
Why you'll love Ezogelin soup
- Hearty and filling — Made with red lentils, bulgur and rice, Ezogelin soup is hearty and filling, just perfect for a chilly day.
- Very easy to make — This is a one-pot meal that requires very little hands-on time, which makes it ideal for a busy day.
- Extra nutritious — Red lentils and bulgur are both great sources of fiber and protein.
Ingredients and substitutions
Plant-based butter — Use your favorite plant-based butter to obtain a creamy base for the soup — I used the unsalted one from Flora.
Onion — Dice the onion small so it softens quickly. Saute it until it starts to caramelize slightly but make sure it doesn't burn.
Flour — You'll need a bit of all-purpose flour to thicken the soup.
Turkish red pepper paste — Turkish red pepper paste is a traditional condiment used in Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine.
It's typically made from roasted red bell peppers, which are ground into a thick paste along with garlic, tomatoes, and various spices such as cumin, paprika, and salt.
The flavor of the paste is smoky, slightly sweet, and mildly spicy, with a rich, complex taste, and it's perfect for adding depth of flavor and a spicy kick to this lentil soup.
Vegetable stock — You can make Ezogelin soup with water, but I prefer it with vegetable stock for extra flavor.
Split red lentils — Red lentils are a great ingredient to use in soup because they are high in protein and fiber, and they cook very quickly.
They don't need to be soaked or pre-cooked before adding them to the pot, but you can give them a quick rinse.
Bulgur wheat — Adding bulgur wheat to this Turkish lentil soup thickens it and makes it more filling.
The bulgur wheat will also add some texture to the soup, but it will also absorb some of the liquid. Keep an eye on the pot and add more liquid as needed.
Rice — A starchy round rice is a great choice in this soup.
How to make Turkish red lentil soup
Melt two tablespoons (30 g) of the plant-based butter in a heavy-bottomed pot, then add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat until softened.
Stir in the flour, add the Turkish red pepper paste and stir to combine. Stir in the water, then cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, add the vegetable stock, split red lentils, bulgur wheat and rice. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, place a lid on the pot and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
Turn off the heat, then use a hand blender to blitz the soup a couple of times (don't overdo it, as it should have a coarse texture, not smooth). Add a bit more liquid if the soup looks too thick and season to taste.
Place the remaining plant-based butter in a small pan and allow it to melt over medium heat. Stir in the red chili flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Stir the flavored butter into the soup or garnish individual bowls before serving.
Leftovers and storage
- Ezogelin soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat the soup, transfer the desired amount to a saucepan and heat it over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally.
- Alternatively, you can microwave the soup in a microwave-safe bowl, covered, until it's hot, stirring once or twice.
- If the soup looks too thick after reheating, you can thin it out by stirring in a little water or broth.
Recipe notes and tips for Ezogelin soup
- Red lentils are traditional in Ezogelin soup, but you can also use brown or green lentils. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time as needed, as different types of lentils can have different cooking times.
- Soaking the bulgur in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes before adding it to the soup will help to soften it and make it easier to cook.
- Add some dried mint at the end for extra flavor. To give the soup an extra kick, sprinkle some red chili flakes on top of individual bowls before serving.
If you liked this Ezogelin soup recipe, you might also like some of my other easy vegan soups:
- Easy Three Bean Soup
- Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup
- Adzuki Beans Soup with Pearl Barley and Kale
- Easy Pinto Bean Soup
- Creamy Oyster Mushroom Soup
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