When I was a child, I was fascinated by the German story of the Suppenkaspar (the Soup-Kaspar) – a boy who refuses to eat his soup until he becomes so skinny that he dies. This is actually in a famous children’s book, one from 1845 though when small kids were supposed to learn from clear morals. I seem to have learned from Soup-Kaspar. At least I never refuse a good soup. Especially between October and March I tend to eat mostly hot soups during the workweek. I also like them because they are usually easy to prepare: I make a big pot of soup on Sunday evening and freeze most portions for the week – freezing because I found out that it’s far better to carry frozen soups to work instead of liquid ones that, trusting my usual luck, might leak.
Last week, during fall break, I had more time to try new things. After I had made a whole kilo of my own yogurt, I decided to use part of it for a wonderful Turkish yogurt soup. It’s original name is more poetic: Yayla Çorbası means Mountain Pasture Soup. It is easy to make because I always have all the ingredients at home and it tastes really good, slightly sour with a pinch of mint. It is a taste I have missed so much. In Turkey you can find this soup almost everywhere.
After the soup was ready, I posted a photo of it on my Instagram Story, which was immediately commented by a Turkish friend who said he loved this Yayla Çorbası, but didn’t know how to make it. It reminded me that I also often had the impression that most Turkish dishes are quite difficult to make, when in reality the opposite is true. One of my theories is that maybe the good Turkish housewife made sure that esp. her husband never figured how little time the cooking actually took during a day. I can assure you that this soup is very simple, you’ll eat it within thirty minutes, and it is absolutely delicious.
Recipe: Yayla Çorbası (Turkish yogurt soup)
- 250 gr rice
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 60 gr flour
- 350 gr plain yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 liters meat broth
- 2 teaspoons mint
- 1 tablespoon paprika powder
- Cook the rice in salted water for about 20 minutes. Strain off any left water, and leave to cool.
- In a big bowl stir the flour, the yogurt and the eggs until smooth.
- Pour the broth into a big pot and, while heating it, stir in the flour-yogurt-egg-mix.
- Add the rice. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Mix the olive oil and the paprika powder. Add it to the soup.
- If you use fresh mint, chop it. You can use dried mint as well. Sprinkle it on top of the soup.