Ezo the Bride Soup (Ezo Gelin Çorbası)


Ezo was a real person who lived in the south eastern part of Turkey, close to Syrian border, in early 20th century. She had two miserable marriages, and died in Syria, homesick. There are films based on her hard, unfortunate life. But I have no idea why this soup is named after her.

The most important trivia about Ezo Gelin soup is that you cannot find a single Kebapçı (Kebab Restaurant) in Turkey that doesn’t serve this soup. It’s the best starter before kebap-you have to have the soup, and whatever you do at home, Ezo Gelin soup is always better at a Kebapçı, even at a sloppy one. Also, it’s famous for being a perfect hangover cure, after Tripe Soup (İşkembe Çorbası).

traditional ingredients:
1 cup red lentils
1/3 cup rice or bulgur
1 tbsp pepper paste
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tbsp dry mint leaves
1/4 tsp black pepper
pepper flakes, as much as you want
1 tbsp olive oil
60 oz water

optional ones:
I usually add 1 small potato and 1 carrot

-If you have a pressure cooker and a hand blender, put everything in pressure cooker (chop onion, potato, and carrot in reasonable pieces) and cook for 25 minutes on medium heat. Then, use the blender to smoothen the soup.

-If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can still boil everything together until lentils and rice are soft.

-If you have neither a pressure cooker, nor a blender then you need to finely chop the onion; make sure it’s really finely chopped. You can also finely chop the potato and carrot, but I prefer grating them. Garlic should be minced. After all the chopping and grating, recipe is the same: put everything in a pot and cook until lentils and rice are soft. Stir every 5 minutes.

For the sauce:
-Heat olive oil or butter (1 tbsp for 2-3 servings) in a skillet
-When oil starts sizzling (if you’re using butter, try not to burn it) add 1/2 tsp paprika and after approximately 30 seconds remove from the heat. Pour over the soup.

-Squeeze lemon on the soup before you eat

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