Turkish yoghurt and mint soup (yayla corbasi)
Photo by Tamara West
It might take a bit to get your head around the idea of yoghurt soup — it did for me — but I tried it and quite liked it. It’s smooth, creamy and has a tang to it.
It is a classic comfort food dish in Turkey where they eat lots of yoghurt. You could also add some lentils or shredded chicken to the soup to bulk it out. I first came across a recipe like this in Greg Malouf’s book Turquoise, and was very lucky to subsequently end up meeting him a few months ago in India.
|1 to drizzle||Olive oil|
|½||Onion, finely chopped|
|3 cloves||Garlic, finely chopped|
|¼ tsp||Smoked paprika|
|¼ tsp||Ground coriander|
|¼ tsp||Ground cumin|
|2½ cups||Chicken stock|
|1½ cups||Greek yoghurt, thick, unsweetened (at room temperature)|
|1||Egg, yolk only|
- Heat butter and oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until soft, 4-5 minutes, then add rice, spices and bay leaves and cook for a further 1 minute.
- Add chicken stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10minutes until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of the boiling hot stock with the yoghurt and mix together well. Keep adding and mixing a bit more hot stock into the yoghurt, bit by bit, until you have added almost 1 whole cup of the stock — by adding a little bit by bit you are “tempering’’ the yoghurt to avoid it splitting/ curdling (if it is added straight to the hot stock the sudden temperature change will end up curdling the yoghurt). Then add this mixture to the remaining stock in the pot and stir together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Mix mint, extra-virgin olive and lemon juice together.
- Ladle hot soup into bowls, drizzle with mint oil and garnish with a pinch of chilli flakes, dukkah or sumac (if using). Serve with warmed Turkish bread or garlic bread.