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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats

WHAT IS MERCIMEK ÇORBASI? WE TRIED TÜRKIYE'S FAMOUS LENTIL SOUP, MADE VEGAN, IN ANTALYA!


Please note that due to the current economic situation in Türkiye, prices are very variable and may change rapidly. The prices quotes are those we paid in October 2023 - please check current menus for the most up to date prices.


Everywhere we went in Türkiye, everyone was talking about çorbası. This simple dish has legendary status, not only across this great country, but among the great soups of the world. And who doesn't love a soup? Honestly, we've enjoyed soups all over the world, and whether the climate is hot or cold, humid or dry, soup just seems to fit.


We headed to Antalya, one of Türkiye's most famous beach destinations, and there was so much to see and do - we were on the go a lot! One lunchtime, we wanted to fuel up with something that would keep us full for the afternoon, without making us feel too heavy and sluggish. This was when we knew it was the perfect moment to get our hands on some mercimek çorbası - and wow, we did not regret this choice!


But wait, what exactly is Mercimek Çorbası?

Put simply, mercimek çorbası is a Turkish lentil soup. This warming dish is packed full of flavour, with a thick, wholesome texture. It's so nutritious: not only full of lentils, this dish includes onions, garlic, often some blended vegetables, and a stock full of herbs and spices. Sounds unmistakably vegan, right? Well, there is more here than meets the eye. While the recipe itself is vegan by default, sometimes it is made using chicken rather than vegetable stock: so make sure to check before you try this!


Where did we try vegan Mercimek Çorbası in Antalya?

To get our fill of this Turkish lentil soup, we headed to Fatma Sultan, a friendly and stylish restaurant in Antalya. This place caters to all diets, and we were really excited to see that they had a full, separate vegan menu! With indoor and outdoor seating, this is a place you can go whatever the weather - and with the kindest staff, you'll want to come back again and again, just like we did!


So come on - tell us all about the Çorbası! How did it taste?

Fatma Sultan's mercimek çorbası was made with the most incredibly flavoursome vegetable broth. This soup was so smooth, but so warming and spicy - it felt like love and safety and home in a bowl. Honestly, this could be one of the best soups I've eaten across the world: I loved it!


Though it was 'just' soup, it was incredibly filling: the portion was generous and we loved the basket of freshly baked Turkish bread served on the side! With a slice of lemon to squeeze over the top, this dish was all about the flavour. It's so simple, but genuinely so delicious!


How much did the plant-based çorbası cost - and was it worth it?

For such a hearty and delicious lunch, we thought that the çorbası was really reasonably priced, at 98₺ per bowl (approx. £2.56, €2.98 or $3.27). You can definitely get çorbası much cheaper than this, but here we were able to try (and have our minds blown by) an authentic Turkish çorbası, in an incredible restaurant, with the assurance that it was completely vegan. Win win!


Have you tried vegan çorbası in Türkiye? Or elsewhere in the world! Where did you go and what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.



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Where should I stay?

Antalya is a popular destination in Türkiye so has a wide range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. For a low priced option, we stayed at Kuyu Beergarden & Hostel, which offers a choice of stylish privates or dorm rooms, with a well equipped shared kitchen, a great location, and plenty of shared space to enjoy a chat or a beer. For more of a luxurious visit, Sabah Pansiyon comes highly recommended, with a swimming pool, clean and cosy private rooms, and a beautiful garden, all for a great price.


Tours & Experiences

Antalya is so much more than just its beaches: this full day tour offers a detailed view of some of the many sights that keep visitors coming back here time after time, including Duden Waterfalls, the cable car, and the Roman city.


Or if that's not for you, why not check out some of the most popular Viator experiences to the left - including trips from this beautiful town to some of Türkiye's stunning, but remotely located, destinations.


Please note that the tours displayed on the left are automatically selected for their popularity by Viator, not chosen or recommended by us. Please check whether any food or drink based tours are suitable for your dietary requirements, and any animal-based experiences are ethical, before booking!


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