Merhabalar! That means "Hello Ya'll!" in Turkish. I have been invited by Amanda to join the Frickin Chicken. I apparently wooed her with my food pornography and anecdotes of being anAmerican Ex-Pat in Turkey. I have been in Turkey for about six months and have made it my job to try as many new dishes as possible. Translation: I eat my own weight in food on a regular basis. I love food and cooking, and immersing myself in a new cuisine has been a blast.
Turkish food is extremely varied by region, but a commonality in most cuisines is yogurt. Many Turkish foods use yogurt either as an ingredient or a condiment. What is great about using yogurt in a soup means you get a rich creamy soup without having to use a butter based roux. Yayla Çorba (pronounced chorba and means soup) is an amazing comfort food. This soup is especially wonderful when you are sick. The yogurt in the soup is good for stomach or digestive ailments. It is also very easy--which is helpful because when you are sick the last thing you want to do is stand in the kitchen and chop and measure. I know this soup looks different but it has become one of my favorites since I came here. Don't be skeptical of the mint, it is really fantastic with the savory creaminess of the soup.
6 cups water
1 cube beef bouillon (omit for vegetarian soup)
1/2 cup rice, washed and drained
2 cups yogurt
2 tbsp of flour
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp dry mint
*1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes
In a large pot boil the water, rice, salt and bouillon. Cook on medium high, until the rice is done.
While the rice is cooking, in a bowl, mix yogurt, egg and flour well. After the rice is cooked, take a few spoons of liquid from the pot and mix into the bowl to temper the yogurt and egg. Add the yogurt and egg mixture into the pot slowly, so the egg and yogurt does not curdle. Stir very slowly. Cook for 10 more minutes.
In a frying pan, heat the butter until it starts to spit, then add the mint, and let sit for 20-30 seconds. Do not let the mint burn. Pour the butter and mint into the soup and stir.
This soup is very quick, very easy and very tasty. Other herbs that are sometimes used in addition to, or in place of, the mint are tarragon and dill. To make the soup lighter you could use less butter or substitute olive oil for the butter.