MoFo may be over but I'm still only half way through my virtual journey, so my plan is to carry on round the Med, cooking a few dishes from each country I pass through and posting maybe two or three times a week. For the time being I'm still in Turkey. It's a cold day today so I'm cooking soup. There are many different versions of Ezo Gelin, most including bulgar wheat, but this is the one that most closely resembles the soup I had at a little restaurant near the Spice Market in Istanbul some years ago. Lemon juice and mint are what make this lentil soup stand out from the crowd.
450 g red lentils
8 cups water
1 onion, finely chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
300 g fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
Cook the lentils for about 15 minutes until they begin to soften. Remove from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile saute onion and garlic in a little water together with the spices for around 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for around 15 minutes. Stir in the lentils, add lemon juice and mint and bring to the boil. Cook for another 10 minutes, stir in most of the mint and serve topped with a little mint.
I served mine topped with half a bag of sweet bistro salad leaves comprising red chard, beetroot and lambs lettuce.