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bereket lentil soup secret?

JMF,

Didn't realize you still spent time in the city. That being the case, I'd say you have an assignment. Wouldn't be surprised if some of the same folks work there from the mid-nineties. Why don't you see what you can find out from them?

Mar 23, 2013
snackd in Manhattan

bereket lentil soup secret?

I can't believe you. All I can say is that my heart leapt when I read the two-line preview of this on my phone, then sank to new lows when I got to your full message. I just don't know why you would toy with me so........ I am so bummed. I've been asking then what's in this soup for years and they react instinctually to my eagerness by leading me on, and leading me astray.

I'm tempted to ask whose side you're on, who you are working for ;-) .....

But instead I just sigh.

Incidentally, I tried 112ktchn's recipe last night. It's delish if lacking Bereket's secret ingredient. It had been a bit since I cooked red lentils and I noticed that the tart flavor of the lentils themselves is actually not present in Bereket's soup. I wonder if there is a different kind of Turkish red lentil?

Mar 22, 2013
snackd in Manhattan

bereket lentil soup secret?

Hmm. I've tried a variety of Mercimek recipes, and never gotten close. Needless to say the devil's in the details here. Do you have any more specific recommendations on quantities & such? I haven't had Bereket's in a couple months, but I'm pretty sure I don't remember tasting cumin. Do you disagree?

I've been trying to make this stuff at home for like seven, eight years now. And still failing!
:-D

Mar 10, 2013
snackd in Manhattan

Suggestions for a summer soup?

+1 for Greek lentil soup recipe!

Jun 06, 2010
snackd in Home Cooking

Looking for Mussles and Frites

vol de nuit has great moules et frites, an impressive selection of belgian beers, outdoor seating, and not much else.

May 02, 2010
snackd in Manhattan

bereket lentil soup secret?

fwiw, i finally tried the soup @place on Bedford. it was tasty, lots of spices. but bereket blows them out of the water. no comparison. run of the mill. good soup. but a different league.

i also don't believe that it has cream in it -- if so, it's not much at all.

Apr 30, 2010
snackd in Manhattan

iso expert of turkish flavors in nyc [moved from Manhattan board]

There's a turkish kabab place in LES that has the most amazing, perfect red lentil soup. It's called Bereket, and it's on the south side of Houston, at Ludlow. The guy who works there said it's a version of Mercimek, but I've tried a few different Mercimek recipes, and they were boring. My friend who turned me on to the place said that he had the same experience when he was in Turkey -- he ate lentil soup all over the place, and it was "okay"; and then every once in a while, he'd be in a small town & stop in some tiny family restaurant and the soup would be amazing. Bereket's soup is amazing. And it's not that I think the recipe is complex. I think their recipe is actually on the simple side. But it's just perfect, and I want to know what's in it.

Is there anyone out there who has a palette that is well-tuned to turkish flavors, and maybe familiar with the territory already? I feel like there's some obvious spice in there that's just too well blended for me to suss it out (besides the mint, which I must admit also took me a sec to identify!).

My fingers are crossed.

-----
Bereket
187 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Apr 20, 2010
snackd in Home Cooking

bereket lentil soup secret?

i have long made a simple curry dal with yellow lentils, lots of turmeric, lots of indian curry powder. it's great, but very different. for turkish variety, do a search for turkish lentil soup, or ezo gelin corbasi / mercimek corbasi. again, i think it's easy to make tasty yellow lentil soup. you really can't go wrong, and the little bit of mint that's commonly used in turkish preparations is a great touch (don't overdo it -- you want just enough that you can barely identify it)....... but bereket has something special that puts it in its own league! i've got to figure out what it is!

i tried istanbul grill, the place on 14th street, and it was tasty but lame in comparison.

surely there's a world-class palette on here who is familiar with turkish cooking who can taste the bereket soup and tell us the secret???

Dec 12, 2009
snackd in Manhattan

bereket lentil soup secret?

well, i guess i can believe there is a small amount of cream. but i don't think it would be much. great sleuthing!! someone else suggested that there might be palm oil in it -- apparently this is common in restaurants whenever you see the Tasty Orange Grease? -- but I'm not familiar with it's taste. any thoughts?

this soup is a funny thing, because the flavors are so well balanced that it's hard even to pick them out. i swear i must have had that soup ten times before i realized i was eating mint! i always feel like there's another spice in there like that, that if i could just *identify* it, i would be able to taste it every time. like, OH, it's coriander! but i think i've smelled everything in my spice rack and there's no matches........

oh, btw i did talk to one of the cooks one time, a while back. i asked what was in the soup, it's so tasty, and he said let me tell you. at this point my heart started beating faster... but his ingredient list was so vague as to include "sauce" (as in secret ~) and omit lentils! i asked if there was butter, and i *think* he answered in the afirmative (maybe these guys just say yes no matter what ingredient you're asking about?). i asked what it was called and he said it was MERCIMEK. but like i said above, i've tried a few mercimek recipes since then and gotten nowhere.

i think i'll try the place on 14th street today.

Dec 10, 2009
snackd in Manhattan

bereket lentil soup secret?

oh wait. I just realized you were saying they use heavy cream at Bereket. Are you positive? How do you know? I'll admit, we always describe the soup as "buttery", but I don't actually ever taste dairy. And, despite the orange grease that sometimes accrues, it's a fairly light soup.....

Dec 08, 2009
snackd in Manhattan

bereket lentil soup secret?

no cream at bereket. i'll try it out. incidentally, there's a place on 14th and 8th ave manhattan that i've been curious to try for a while. i can't guarantee it, but i had a really good feeling about it when i saw it on the menu!

Dec 07, 2009
snackd in Manhattan

bereket lentil soup secret?

Anyone had the lentil soup at Bereket turkish kabab house on houston (btwn 1 & A)? Well, I know people have, because I read other glowing reports. I've been loving that soup, and wondering what's in it for too long now. I've tried no less than 20 recipes for "Turkish Lentil Soup" and "Ezo Gelin" and "Mercimek", and I've never even come close. A lot of the recipes I read obviously aren't the same style, e.g. they lack mint or even use brown lentils! Hey, it's always a good meal -- It's not hard to make lentil soup into a good meal. But there's something about Bereket's that is like crack, and I'm dying to know what it is. Any thoughts?

Dec 07, 2009
snackd in Manhattan

What side dish with pasta e fagioli soup?

salad's actually the right answer. something cool and snappy to cut through the hopefully very dense flavor of your PeF. ...There's more than one kind of salad?

Nov 27, 2009
snackd in Home Cooking

Mushroom and Pancetta Soup

Nov 24, 2009
snackd in Recipes