Ezo Gelin Corbasi (Bride Ezo's Soup) is a delightful and filling Turkish style Red Lentil and Bulgur soup.A net search will give several results on this but I found this delightful soup and also the history behind it in 'A Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska' -or Laurie's blog.Refer the recipe here.
I loved the story of Ezo and am retelling it here.The soup is supposed to have been created by a beautiful girl called Ezo for her mother-in-law with whom she had a difficult relationship.
Born in Anatolia,Turkey Ezo was famed for her beauty.She was married off to a person who was in love with another woman and after suffereing for an year in a loveless marriage she returned home.After few years,she was married off to a distant cousin who lived in Syria or rather Syria-Tibet border.Her marriage worked this time,but she had difficult relationship with her mom-in-law.Added to which were her yearning for her native village.It is said that Ezo created this soup to pacify her mother-in law.
Finally when Ezo died she was first buried in Syria but later after some agreement-disagreement or negotiations between Syria and Turkey she was reburied in her native village.Her story became an legend and has been made into film as well.
The soup which is made of red lentil and bulgur is quick and easy to make and hearty and filling as any lentil soup.It is said that every bride in Turkey will be given this soup on the eve of marriage -may be for a smooth relationship with mom-in-law.!
RedLentil (Masoor Dal): 1/2 cup
Bulgur: 1/4 cup
Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 small finely chopped
Garlic: 1-2 cloves minced/crushed
Aleppo Pepper or Hot Paprika: 1-2 tsp
Tomato Paste: 1 tbsp
Veg Stock: 3 cup +
Mint Oil Topping:
Aleppo Pepper/Paprika (optional)
Pick,wash,clean and drain the lentils.
Heat olive oil in a deep pan/kadai.Saute onion adding little salt and pepper till it becomes brown.Add minced garlic,tomato paste and Aleppo pepper/paprika.Saute for 2 minutes till oil separates.I added a mix of chilli powder and paprika.
Add stock,bulgur and red lentil and mix well and bring to a boil.Reduce to a simmer and cover and cook for 15-20 minutes till the lentils get cooked.
Puree in a blender for a smooth and creamy soup.This is optional but I did.If the soup is too thick,add more stock/water.Adjust salt and pepper and serve garnished with mint oil.Mint Oil:
Warm little olive oil in a pan.Remove from heat and stir in dried mint and optional paprika.Drizzle on top of the soup.
FYI: If you do not have dried mint,then take few fresh mint.Clean the leaves and pat dry on paper towels for atleast 1 hour.Microwave at full power for 1-3 minutes keeping them sandwiched between two paper towels and also reversing the sides during half time.The leaves should become dry and crumbly-when touched the dried mint leaves should crumble into pieces.Check after 1 minute or so as you should not burn the leaves.Refer here for more details.The oil garnish is optional but adds a different taste.I liked it but preferred the soup as itself.Well,I am assuming here that Ezo's mother-in law liked it too.The soup on pureeing turned out to be very very thick and I had to add more water/stock to it.