Yoghurt Soup with Rice or Yayla Çorbası

yoghurt soupThis morning my husband woke up with quite a bit of muscle ache. He felt the first signs of whatever he’s got yesterday while we were at Art Gallery of New South Wales for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition. After we got home, we had another plan for the day: supporting a friend of ours at his live gig. Of course, we had to cancel. The exhibition was really good though. For photos see our photo blog here.

When someone from your family is ill, Yayla Çorbası (yoghurt soup with rice) is what we make. That is the reason why it is mostly referred to as ‘sick soup’. Not that the soup is only made when someone is sick. I actually quite like it for many reasons like it’s creamy, nourishing and being a soup it is warm –something I especially appreciate in a cold winter day. And of course, it brings back memories of my old life back in Turkey.

Well, my husband is downstairs at the moment, enjoying his share. And I am getting ready to post the recipe for you. Please don’t wait until you’re sick to try this soup. Afiyet olsun Peoples!

Yoghurt Soup with Rice or Yayla Çorbası

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons medium-grain white rice
2 cups water

For the soup base:
3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
1 egg
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon plain flour
3 cups water

For the mint tempering:
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon dried spearmint

Salt to taste

Method:
• Wash the rice and drain well. Place it in a small saucepan with 2 cups water and cook until the rice is soft.
• Whisk together the yoghurt, egg, lemon juice and plain flour. You could use your blender for the job, too. Once it is smooth, dilute the soup base with 3 cups of water. Boil the mixture stirring all the time. Once it starts to bubble, add the rice. Add salt to taste.
• To make the mint tempering, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the mint. Swirl it around a little and remove from the heat. Add a ladle of boiling hot soup into the mint tempering and pour it all together into the soup. Serve warm with fresh bread.

Green Lentils and Noodle Soup or Bacaklı Çorba

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Coming back from 5 week Europe holiday including Turkey, I decided to cook something Turkish. Since the weather here in Australia is cold at this time of the year, I thought a soup would be the best.

This was one of my Dad’s favourite soups growing up in Northern part of Turkey where the cuisine heavily relies on legumes, especially during winter months. Later on, it became my favourite soup. Because of eriste sticking out of spoon with every spoonful of this soup, my Dad named it Bacakli Corba (leggy soup).

The recipe below is my grandmother’s recipe. It was difficult to come up with the right measurements as she never measured anything while cooking. I managed to put it together during one of our conversations. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Green Lentils and Noodle Soup or Bacaklı Çorba
Ingredients:
¾ cup green lentils, picked over, washed and cooked
1 cup eriste, cooked
2 tbsp plain flour (heaped)
1 egg
3 generous tbsp yoghurt, in room temperature
Salt

For tempering:
2 tbsp butter
3 tsp dried spearmint

Method:
• Whisk together plain flour, egg and yoghurt in a large pan. Add 8 glasses of water and boil. Once it is boiled, add cooked lentils and eriste. Season with salt.
• In a separate small saucepan, melt the butter and add dried spearmint. Let it smoke a little without burning.
• Add it to the rest of the soup and serve warm.

Hybrid Lentil Soup

Hybrid Lentil SoupHybrid Lentil Soup. No Peoples, it is not half lentil soup, half Van Gogh’s boots. As a matter of fact, there are no boots in it at all. I have been thinking about my own interpretations of certain classic dishes recently. Take this –supposedly classic– lentil soup recipe as an example; it is half straight forward Turkish lentil soup, half Ezogelin soup. Classic lentil soup is not spicy whereas Ezogelin soup is. On the other hand, Ezogelin soup has fine bulgur in it but classic lentil soup doesn’t. My hybrid soup doesn’t have the bulgur but it is spicy. See what I’m getting at?

The recipe below changed and evolved over the years. I used family recipes, neighbours’ recipes, even some professionals chipped in at some stage. And the end result is nourishing, warming and full of flavor. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Afiyet Olsun!

Ingredients:
1 cup split red lentils
6 cups drinking water
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried spearmint
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoon salt
Lemon juice to serve

Method:
• Wash and drain the lentils. Place them in a large pot –you’ll need that space for your hand blender as things get a little messy – and add water. Bring to a boil. Get a slotted spoon and a large plate ready. Place them near the cooking area.
• When you see foam building skim it with the slotted spoon and drop it on the plate –at some stage during this this process, the foam will get thicker. Repeat this until the lentil is cooked, ready to disperse itself into water and no more foam is building up.
• In a smaller pot, heat some vegetable oil. Add crushed garlic, tomato paste, sweet paprika, cumin, turmeric, spearmint and salt. Stir well. By using a soup ladle, transfer 1 or 2 spoonful of soup into this thick mixture, stir again and pour it back into the soup pot.
• Remove from heat. Plug the electric hand blender in and blend the soup in the pot until smooth. Work from your end of the pot and lift the pot up at the back if necessary. If you don’t have a hand blender, you could use a food processor for the job.
• Serve hot with freshly squeezed lemon, drizzled on top.

Serving suggestion: Serve with extra dried mint or Turkish chili flakes.

Chick-less Chicken Soup with Celery, Baby Peas, Corn and Dill

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This is one of those recipes that just happen. I was hungry and it was cold so I needed a soup and I needed it fast. I was also in the mood for a chicken soup substitute. The kind that your mother makes for you when you are sick although I was feeling fine. Anyway, this soup below filled the gap nicely.

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I used baby peas as they are more suitable for soups. For every other dish I use garden peas which are bigger. The surprising discovery about this soup is the fact that celery added so much flavour which was so unexpected for me.

Chick-less Chicken Soup with Celery, Baby Peas, Corn and Dill
Ingredients:
6 pieces of Lamyong Vegetarian Crispy Soy Slices, thawed and cut into tiny pieces
½ cup frozen baby peas
½ cup frozen corn
½ celery, chopped
½ cup Turkish vermicelli
1 spring onion (shallot), green part only, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp Massel’s stock powder chicken style
1 ½ tsp corn flour
1 litre good quality drinking water, boiled
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Method:
• Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the celery. Cook for 2 minutes and add peas, corn, boiled water and chicken powder. Once it starts to boil add the vermicelli and crispy soy slices. Boil until the vegetables and vermicelli are cooked thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
• In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch with cold water. Gradually add the mixture to the soup, stirring all the time.
• Just before the soup is done add chopped dill and spring onions and serve warm.

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Vegan Minestrone, the lazy way

I took all the possible shortcuts in the making of this soup. It was cold –unexpectedly– like the weather is predictable in Sydney. However, I made garlic bread to go with it but that’s another post. I could’ve used cannellini beans in this soup but my husband doesn’t like beans. If you don’t have any problems with dried beans, nobody’s stopping you…

Ingredients:
1x400gr tin diced Italian tomatoes
1 cup baby beans, cut into 2 cm pieces
½ cup elbow pasta
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Continental Stock Pot Vegetables
1 litre boiled water
1 tsp black pepper
Chopped parsley
1 tbsp olive oil

Method:
• Empty the contents of tin tomatoes into a soup pot. Add some water and with a hand blender turn it into a red, smooth mush.
• Place the pot over medium heat. Add stock pot vegetable, black pepper, oil, rest of the boiled water and crushed garlic. When it starts boiling, add baby beans and pasta.
• Cook until pasta is soft and the beans are cooked. Just before you remove the soup from the heat, add chopped parsley.
• Scoop into soup bowls and serve hot.

Vegan Potato and Mung Bean Soup

I came up with a recipe for this soup long time ago when I was first introduced to mung beans –like 12 years ago. But I didn’t write the recipe down anywhere. At least I thought I didn’t. So, every time I made it, I had to rediscover everything. While I was tidying up my recipe archive recently, I came across this recipe –miraculously- typed in Turkish and put aside. The recipe below contains wisdom from the previous one as well as the latter versions. By the way, it is gluten free.

Ingredients:
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 cup mung beans
2 tsp Massel Stock Powder Chicken Style
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
A handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt

Method:
• Pick over the dry beans first to remove stones, dirt balls, beans with worm holes, and other foreign mater. Wash the mung beans to remove dust. Wash a second and third time if necessary although they should shine after their bath.
• Add 3 cups water to the beans and boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Drain and set aside.
• Boil 1 litre of water –good quality, drinking water.
• Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the cumin and turmeric. Stirring constantly add potatoes. Add boiled water and stir well. When it boils, add cooked mung beans. Check and season accordingly.
• Dissolve the corn starch in a small bowl with cold water. Add to the soup and stir well. Let it boil for a few seconds. Turn the heat off and add chopped parsley.
• Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve hot.

Vegan Tomato Soup

There is nothing more comforting than a cup of hot soup in the winter. I noticed that I had a few tomatoes in my fridge that needed to be used up so I made this fresh tomato soup for lunch. If you choose your bread carefully, the soup is gluten-free.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
5 medium size tomato
800 ml water (boiled)
1 tbsp corn starch
A handful flat leaf parsley (chopped)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp salt

Method:
• Peel the tomatoes and cut them into small pieces. In a large pot, heat the oil and add tomatoes, sweet paprika, onion powder and salt.
• Cook tomatoes until the mixture is more like a sauce. Add boiled water and stir.
• In a very small bowl mix corn starch with cold water. Stir well and gradually add to the soup.
• By using either a hand blender or a full size one, whizz up the whole soup until all the lumps and bumps are gone. Return to the heat and boil one more time. Add chopped parsley and serve hot immediately.

Vegan Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

I developed this recipe from many other recipes by neighbours and family members. Coming from a warm climate country, although I like hot weather, one thing I like about chilly weather is soups! This lentil soup is in particular quite warming because of cumin and turmeric is a great blood purifier. This is some ancient wisdom talking here.

Ingredients:
1 cup split red lentils
6 cups drinking water
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried spearmint
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil
Lemon juice to serve

Method:
• Wash lentils and drain well. Put them in a large pot –you’ll need that space for your hand blender as things get a little messy – and add water. Bring to a boil. Get a slotted spoon and a large plate ready. Place them near the cooking area.
• When you see foam building skim it with the slotted spoon and drop it on the plate –at some stage during this process, the foam will get thicker. Repeat this until the lentil is cooked, ready to disperse itself in the water and no more foam is building up.
• In a smaller pot, heat some vegetable oil. Add crushed garlic, tomato paste, sweet paprika, cumin, turmeric, spearmint and salt. Stir well. By using a soup ladle, transfer 1 or 2 spoonful of soup into this thick mixture, stir again and pour it back into the soup pot.
• Remove from heat. Plug the electric hand blender in and blend the soup in the pot until smooth. Work from your end of the pot and let all the splishy-splashy bits hit the other side of the pot.
• Serve hot with freshly squeezed lemon drizzled top.

Note: I have mine with extra spearmint and Turkish chili flakes but that’s optional.

Şehriyeli Sebze Çorbası or Vegetable Soup with Turkish Vermicelli

I adopted this recipe from a non-vegan one by leaving chicken and chicken stock out and replacing them with vegetables and Massel chicken style stock powder. For extra flavour, I use Continental Stock Pot Vegetable which comes in a pack of 4 little pots and one pot is enough for this soup.  Make sure you use good quality water as water is your biggest ingredient in soups.  If you use tap water, the chlorine in water dominates
the taste and it intensifies during the cooking process.

Ingredients:
1 small carrot
1 small potato
1/3 cup Şehriye (Turkish vermicelli that can be purchased from Gima in Auburn)
2 teaspoon Massel Stock Powder Chicken Style
1x Continental Stock Pot vegetable
1 litre drinking water
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 teaspoon corn starch
3/2 bunch continental parsley
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 lemon

Method:

  • Peel both potato and carrot and grate.
  • Wash and finely chop parsley. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large pot and add grated potato and carrot. Sprinkle them  with chicken style stock, pepper and sweet paprika until the vegetables are slightly cooked. If you are using stainless steel pot and your vegetables stick to the bottom don’t worry as they will release themselves when you cover with
    boiled water.
  • Boil 1 litre water in kettle and add hot water to the pot along with stock pot vegetable gradually. Make sure that stock pot dissolves completely.
  • In a small bowl mix corn starch with cold water let it dissolve. Set
    aside.
  • Add şehriye to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. When şehriye is cooked, give corn starch another stir and add gradually.  This will thicken your soup.
  • Bring the pot to boil. Before you remove the soup from heat add finely chopped parsley and divide your soup into 4 large soup bowls.
  • Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice.