Almost Turkish Recipes

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


  1. Blogunuz çok güzel, tarifler özenle seçilmiş ve yazılmış. Sizi ingilizce linklerime ekleyeceğim. Kolay gelsin

  2. I love lentils and this is a very distinctive soup. Even though Ezo had an unfortunate life, it's nice that people can remember her with a delicious recipe like this.

  3. Sher, if you like lentils, you should definitely try this. It's like red lentil soup, but mint flakes and garlic along with rice (I usually use white rice rather than bulgur) give it a very distinctive taste.

  4. Thanks Burcu for the recipe! I love lentil! Will try this one out soon! :)

  5. I think I need to give this a try, hangover or not.

  6. Burcu - This is a great time to have a soup like this as it is getting so cold. I should imagine it is good for hangovers on account of the the wheat, starch, and carbohydrates (in New Zealand we often have something that includes stodgy potatoes and/or bacon).

  7. I loved this soup when I visited Turkey and I have been looking for a recipe ever since. Thanks, I can't wait to try it.

    One question - what is pepper paste? is that like sweet peppers or hot?

  8. Hi Rachel,
    Pepper paste is just like tomato paste, but made from red peppers.

  9. Hi Rachel
    You can find chili paste, (which I gather, is the same as pepper paste), in the Asian section of your grocery store or at an Asian store. It is called Sambal Oelek. Make sure that you get the paste without garlic! And yes, it is hot. You could adjust pepper paste to taste.

  10. Anonymous9:00 AM

    The pepper paste is not the hot spicy one, it's called 'sweet red pepper' paste which is made from the big red bell peppers. The cook them normally by baking them, skin them and the puree them. If you use the spicy hot pepper paste then I would really reduce the amount you put to maybe 1 to 2 teaspoons. (Tatlı Kırmızı Biber Salçası is roughly what it is called in turkish which is rouly translated to 'sweet red pepper paste/puree'.)

    (All of your recipes are delicious and I trust this site the most for reliability that a recipe will be delicious. So, from an English girl with a Turkish husband, living in Turkey and trying to cook Turkish food everyday, I thank you very much, I cannot tell you how much you have helped my relationship with my husband... Çok teşekkür ediyorum ablacim, elinizi sağlık (sorry for my spelling, I am learning:))

  11. ı mistakenly put harissa instead of the pepper paste the first time, and it turned out so good !! I switched to harissa from then on :))

    Ellerine saglık, blogdan denediğim her sey hep cok guzel oldu.


  12. Harissa, hmmm, intriguing! My Turkish store here closed, maybe I should switch to harissa as well.

  13. Yummy soup. Thanks for sharing recipe here with us, it is really helpful. Keep updating with more post.