Yogurt Soup (Yayla Çorbası)


















Yogurt soup is a popular comfort dish both in Turkey and Central Asia. To me, it shows how we, Turks, are obsessed with yogurt; we even cook it! It's also a very common sick soup; even inhaling the strong smell of mint or tarragon makes you feel better. Although Turks love this soup, I can see why many people, especially those who are not in good terms with yogurt, may not like this. So, the decision is up to you: to try or not to try...

1/4 cup rice
5 cups of water (if you wish you can use half chicken stock, half water)
2 cups of plain yogurt
1 egg
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp dried mint or tarragon
1 tsp salt

-Boil rice in 5 cups of water with salt until (very) soft.
-In a bowl, beat the egg and flour well, and then add yogurt and mix. With 1-2 tbsp water lighten up this mixture.
-Put the yogurt mix in a pot and start cooking on very low. It's important that you start with low heat, otherwise yogurt would curdle. Give yogurt some time to get used to heat. Cook on low heat for approximately 15 minutes and keep stirring.
-Slowly pour in rice along with water into the soup. Keep stirring. First let it boil on medium and then turn it down and cook for another 10 minutes.
-Heat butter in a pan. Once it sizzles, add mint flakes and stir for 20-30 seconds (don't let it burn). Then, pour it into soup.

58 comments:

  1. Diane3:38 PM

    Have you ever had kadhi (Indian yogurt soup)? It's lovely - what I make when I'm too tired to cook and want something comforting. When I first heard of it, I was not too keen on the idea. Hot yogurt??? But one taste cured me of my hesitation...
    :)

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  2. Diane, no, I did not. But, I'll sure try it!

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  3. Hi Burcu,
    I hope you had a wonderful trip back to Turkey. I just wanted to tell you I just wrote a little spotlight of your blog for Blogher. You can see it here

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  4. Wonderful! I used to share a flat with a Turkish girl in Scotland, who made this yogurt soup quite regularly. She used mint, and although I was a bit suspicious first, I quickly became fond of the soup.
    I forgot to ask for her recipe before moving back home to Estonia, so your recipe has helped me a lot:)

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  5. Hi,

    I am from Istanbul. I am glad to see your recipe blog. Thanks for your recipes of our traditional foods :)

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  6. Pille, I'm glad you're united with a long lost recipe :)

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  7. this sounds so good. thanks a lot.

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  8. Oh, I will try it! It looks wonderful--but everything you cook looks wonderful to me.

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  9. How great to find your blog. I have loved Turkish food ever since my trip there a few years ago. And since I too love yogurt I will have to try this recipe!

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  10. I had this soup for the first time at a lovely Turkish restaurant in New York City, and have been trying to replicate it ever since, with so-so results. *Your* recipe & method did the trick, and I just made it this evening for dinner. So yummy, and my husband loved it too. I just wanted to say thank you! I'll give your other recipes a go as well.... Yum! :-9

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  11. Becka, you're more than welcome. I know how it feels when you try to replicate something and cannot; I'm still there: there's a Tibetan restaurant here that serves a simple lentil soup that I still haven't managed to replicate. I hope you like other recipes, too.

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  12. Asuman7:50 PM

    Merhaba Burcu,


    My mom used to make this soup all the time. It's my favourite along with red lentil soup.
    Mom usually added a can of chickpeas to this recipe.
    Whenever I get homesick, I check your blog for recipes!

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  13. Merhaba Asuman,
    I'm glad if my recipes help you with homesickness. I've just learned a soup recipe which is just like yogurt/yayla soup yet has chick peas in it; it's called dovga soup. It might be what your mom used to make. I'll post the recipe as soon as I try it.

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  14. Living in North Iraq, I frequently cross the border into East Anatolia for the wonderful Turkish food. This time, after returning, I searched the web for a recipe for Yayla Corbasi. Yours looked the tastiest. I made it for my boyfriend (who is from Izmir). It was a hit. If it's OK, I would like to put a link to your site in my blog.

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  15. Anonymous4:52 AM

    Dear Burcu
    What kind of yogurt would I use for that soup? Only Whole milk?

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  16. You can use any kind: whole milk or non-fat. I make my own yogurt with 2% and used that for the soup.

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  17. Anonymous7:02 AM

    Well, today I felt a strong urge to cook yayla corbasi so I'm happy I found it on your blog.

    For anyone who likes yogurt - and without being Turkish I love anything related to milk but the milk itself hehe - if you try this, you LOVE it. It's impossible not to. Friends who had this in restaurants in Turkey came back home trying to replicate the recipe. Even the one which is sold in Turkish stores - the small packs from Knorr or whatever - are delicious.

    Go for it, people! You like yogurt = you love this one.

    Best

    A.

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  18. i wud make it for tomarrows breakfast sounds intresting

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  19. bushra3:36 PM

    Hi!

    I'm from Istanbul...

    I love this soup!And I will be make for the evening meal during Ramadan.

    Thanks!
    :)

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  20. Bengu5:25 PM

    I just tried this recipe. Turned out excellent!! Thank you very much for all details that make the difference.

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  21. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Hi,

    How much does this recipe yield? I want to make it for about 20-25 people. Should I double or triple the ingredients?

    Thanks for your lovely website!


    Finney

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  22. ozelkiz10:33 PM

    Hi thank you for this great recipe. I made it for a Ramadan dinner and it was a HUGE hit. I was feeding 5 people, so I doubled the measurements, and I still had lots left ( everyone had 2 bowls). I will definately make this again. Elinize saglik.

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  23. Having spent the summer in Central Anatolia working this summer, it brought back so many great Turkish memories and scents. Thank you! It was perfect.

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  24. I had this great one yesterday, I was wondering though, does it always have a taste similar to cheese soup when served hot? I've had cold yogurt soup with cucumber and it's completely different. I'm clearly no expert. I'm just aspiring to be one. Thanks!

    http://soupsnob.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/hot-yogurt-soup-from-sip-sak-6/

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  25. Stacy, I assume you're referring to "cacik" as cold yogurt soup, or tzatziki in Greek. If so, I'd rather call that one an appetizer than a soup. For cacik, you don't cook yogurt, you just season it with garlic, olive oil, salt, grated cucumber, and fresh dill. However, hot yogurt soup has a lot going on; addition of eggs,flour, butter, and slow cooking of all these ingredients, which changes a whole lot. I don't how cheese soup tastes but hot yogurt soup is supposed to taste completely different than cacik.

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  26. This blog its wonderful thaks for admin. biber salçası

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  27. I am so excited! A local cafe ran by 2 Turkish brothers tried to serve this but Americand snubbed their noses at hot yogurt. Not I! I crave it but sadly they do not make it anymore :( Thanks for the recipe. I will make it very soon indeed!

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  28. Hasret4:11 PM

    Hi Burcu,

    This soup is fantastic, I love all your recipes, have tried about 7 of them. Keep up the good work :-)

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  29. This was my favorite soup when I lived in Turkey! I just used your recipe to make it tonight for a group of friends, and they raved about it. This one's a keeper. Thanks!

    (Though I do recommend making it with straight chicken stock, rather than water. Gives it a much richer taste.)

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  30. Anonymous5:13 AM

    Just googled "yogurt in soup" as I wanted to make a good chicken soup thatd be more filling. I only had vanilla yogurt, but let's see how it goes - I thought the sweetness might add a lil something. Also, I made fresh chicken stock and boiled the rice with cumin seeds and a little bit of cinnamon - the Indian blood in me couldn't resist the cumin! Will comment once I've tasted it :)

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  31. the Turk in me goes "NOOOO" for the vanilla yogurt twist, but who knows, maybe it'll work.

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  32. Anonymous6:10 AM

    what kind of rice do you use? basmati or sticky rice?

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  33. Sticky, jasmine, or aborio is fine.

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  34. Anonymous7:09 AM

    As a turkish child living in America with two working parents i find it nice that I can come to websites like these to cook my parents their favorite foods after a long day of work. Thanks so much

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  35. How lucky your parents are!

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  36. Anonymous10:06 AM

    i need the nutrient values of this soup since i use it so much and i like it.

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  37. thanks for sharing, I actually just got back from Istanbul and a relative made a variation of this. I got her recipe and made it once, then lost it! Hers is with barley and nohut, but I vaguely remembered what to do (as in soak the barley). I have the pot on the stove now and it tastes close! I'm so glad I found your site, now I think I'm going to make the green lentil/bulghar/sundried tomatoes. I'm so glad this is here, thanks again!

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  38. Hello, I had a "Mom's Cold Soup" in Turkey and it was so good. I took a photo of the menu. It had Yogurt, garlic, mint and orzo. I tried making this at home, it was not the same! I think I need to cook with egg and flour and maybe strain the yogurt first? Mine was watery and too tart. I did add salt and pepper but so tart. I can't wait to try this recipe warm.

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  39. Anonymous9:41 AM

    If you wanted to make this gluten free what type of gluten free flour would you recommend to replace the flour?

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    Replies
    1. You can easily skip the flour or use rice flour instead.

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  40. @anonymous: I'm sorry for the late response. I'd definitely go for rice flour.

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  41. thanks, loved it in Istanbul, posted the link (if you don't mind) on twitter

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  42. Anonymous7:02 AM

    Im so happy you give the measures with cups. Cooking is not mathematics so Im very grateful I can come here and use some of your recipies. Natalie

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  43. Thanks for your great recipe - it is spot on! I love Yayla Corbası! I linked to this page on my blogpost http://turklish.blogspot.com/2012/11/making-manti.html I'll be trying out more of your recipes in the future.

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  44. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Ellerine saglik Burcu, canim cok cekmisti ve ilk aramada karsima senin tarifin cikti. I add a little more salt and red pepper flakes to taste, in my own bowl. Nothing beats a good yayla corbasi. Thanks again.
    Yg

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  45. Anonymous8:41 AM

    Can you skip the butter? (Maybe olive oil instead?)

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  46. Anonymous7:38 PM

    Recently returned from our family's first trip to Turkey / Istanbul. When we were there, we ate only Turkish food and loved all the soups (weather was cold)including this one. When I used this recipe to make the yogurt soup today, there was quite an excitement around the dining table in our home. Everyone was smiling ear to ear!
    Love Turkey!

    There is a very similar "yogurt porridge" recipe used in south India. Instead of flour, rice flour is used. Ground or split green chillies are added to the yogurt which imparts flavor and heat. Instead of mint and tarragon, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and chopped curry leaves are used for the garnish. But the method is same.

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  47. Anonymous12:21 PM

    we had yogurt soup in cappadocia last year and i loved it! im definitely going to try this recipe. thanks for sharing!! :)

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  48. Anonymous5:37 PM

    I just returned from visiting my daughter in Istanbul and was looking for a recipe to match a chilled yoghurt soup that her Turkish mother-in-law served - it seems very similar to this except that her soup had wheat berries instead of rice and I think dill instead of mint - and of course was served cold. Anyone know anything more about this soup?

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    Replies
    1. This is what you're looking for: http://almostturkish.blogspot.com/2007/08/cold-wheat-berry-soup-souk-buday-orbas.html

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  49. Hi Burcu,
    I've always wanted to make this one, and I liked your recipe, so I'll try it for sure. Thank you for posting it. Would it make much difference if I skip the butter? Butter and anything greasy gives me hearthburn. As for Stacy's comment on cold yogurt and cucumber soup, she might be refering to "tarator" a soup we make in Bulgaria, I thought they make it in Turkey too, but I could be wrong. It's basically, tsatsiki or cacik with water in the form of a soup, that's lovely too. As soon as I make it I'll let you know if my attempt was successful. But, with a recipe like that, it has to.

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  50. Erika,
    Although mint or tarragon sizzled in butter or olive oil definitely gives the soup the last nice touch, if it bothers you it can be skipped.

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  51. I absolutely love this soup. I just made it tonight as a late night snack. This is the best recipe I found for this soup.

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  52. Anonymous12:21 PM

    do you need the egg? what is its purpose? great recipe, i will try it!

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    Replies
    1. It definitely adds to the taste, but also makes the soup thicker pr shinier

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  53. Anonymous3:33 AM

    Hi Burcu,
    I love your recipies. I know it was asked before but I have a question about the yoghurt. I can't really find great yoghurts where I live. So I need to choose an option that will be close to the real version. Is your yoghurt mild in taste like what we generally find in European supermarkets or a slightly sour one closer to the Turkish yoghurts?

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    Replies
    1. I usually buy Mountain High in a big bucket from Costco, because we can never have enough yogurt and I like that one. However, Costco (in Redwood City CA) has been carrying a new brand--I am so sorry I cannot remember the name--on organic whole milk yogurt and I'm in love with it.

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