'Ezogelin' (EZ'-oh gel-EEN') soup is a hearty and delicious Turkish soup made with red lentils, rice, bulgur, pepper paste and Turkish spices. It comes from the southeastern region of Turkey, and it's a great example of Turkish regional cuisine.
'Ezogelin' soup is similar to Turkish red lentil soup, but it is not strained through to make a smooth, creamy texture. The rice and bulgur are left whole or to cook in the soup, giving it a unique texture.
- 1 onion (very finely chopped)
- 1 ½ cups red lentils
- ½ cup large grain rice, such as Baldo
- ¼ cup coarse bulgur
- 1 heaping tbsp. flour
- 4 tbsp. butter or margarine
- 2 tbsp. sweet red pepper paste or tomato paste
- 8 cups beef broth or bouillon
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- 1 tsp. dried mint, more or less to taste
Melt 3 tbsp. of the butter or margarine in a large, covered saucepan. Add the onion and fry until translucent and very tender. Next, add the flour and stir until bubbly, but be careful not to let the flour brown or burn.
Mix the pepper or tomato paste with two tablespoons of water, then add to the flour and stir until well combined. Next, slowly add the beef broth while stirring constantly. Continue stirring the mixture over high heat until it comes to a boil.
Wash the red lentils, rice and bulgur together in a fine wire strainer until the water runs clear. Add them to the boiling mixture. Add the salt, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. If you are using bouillon, you may need to reduce the added salt. Let the soup slowly simmer until the rice and bulgur are very soft and the lentils have fallen apart, about 20 minutes.
Melt the remaining 1 tbsp. of butter in a small skillet or pan. Add the hot pepper flakes and mint and stir over the heat for a minute or two. Stir the butter and spices into the soup and let it simmer a few minutes more. If the soup seems too thick, add a little more water or broth. Adjust the salt and spices to your taste.
Serve a sliver of lemon for squeezing along with each bowl of soup as a garnish. You can also put small bowls of red pepper flakes and mint on the table for sprinkling on top.