Friday, July 19, 2013

Turkish Yogurt Soup with Minty Lamb Meatballs

 Yayla Çorbasi

 Yayla Çorbasi is a classic comfort dish in Turkey.  It's a creamy soup with a refreshingly tangy taste of yogurt.  To give this soup a little substance, I've added some delicious minty lamb meatballs.  This is a must try for anyone who loves yogurt and lamb, and it's a very quick and easy dinner to prepare.  Be sure to bring your yogurt to room temperature before adding to your hot soup and be sure to temper the yogurt first.

Serves 4
For the meatballs...
1 pound ground lamb
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt 
olive oil

Mix all meatball ingredients together in a large bowl with your hands until well blended.  Shape the mixture into little walnut sized balls.  Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and gently saute meatballs until they're cooked through and browned well on all sides.

 For the soup...

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/3 cup white rice
4 cups water or you can use half chicken stock half water
2 cups plain full fat Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh mint to serve

1.   In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and the garlic and add a pinch of salt.  Stir and cook until just softened, about 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the rice and red pepper flakes, plus another pinch of salt.  Cook and stir until the rice is lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes more.

2.   Stir in the water or water/chicken broth, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook covered until the rice is tender.  Add a little of the hot soup to the yogurt and stir well, then add yogurt to the soup pot and stir until well incorporated.  Add pepper and more salt to taste.  Add meatballs to the soup if you like, or ladle soup into bowls and add a few meatballs to each bowl. Sprinkle chopped mint over the soup and serve.  Enjoy!