Saturday, 15 January 2011

My Colourful Winter Vegetable Soup

my soup

Dark red cherries for 100TL per kilo! I couldn’t believe my eyes. That’s about 40 pounds! I was in trendy upmarket Bebek along the Bosphorus on the European side  two days ago and a greengrocer or manav as they are called here, had his wares spilling out onto the pavement. Such unseasonal produce! Strawberries, baby artichokes, plums, green tomatoes and these cherries. It will be very sad I think if Turkey loses the rhythm of the seasons in terms of produce but I suppose in time, it will happen. But right now I am not prepared to be swayed.
Meanwhile, along with lentil soup, here is another of my faithful soupy seasonal stand-bys. Again the familiar market vegetables, carrots, potatoes, and leeks, but this time in liquid guise. Whenever we go to Assos, I make sure that I have these handy so that I can quickly make this soup the next day for lunch.  Soups like this improve the longer they wait as the tastes get better and better so make enough for the next day at least. A nice warming family soup ideal for this time of year.

Serves 6
2 - 3 carrots, sliced or diced, depending on size
3 medium potatoes, diced
3 leeks, sliced and washed very carefully
Handful dried mung beans (optional)
Knob of butter + 1 tbsp olive oil for sauteing
Chicken stock cube (or powder)
Handful little pasta shapes/şehriye, or 1 tbsp rice
8 cups of water
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Lemon wedges to serve


·         Peel, slice/dice, and wash the vegetables.  Melt the butter and add all the vegetables. Gently saute for 2 minutes and then add the water and stock cube. Give it all a good stir.

very healthy
  •  Gradually bring to the boil and then turn the heat down so that the soup is not boiling too fiercely. Add the dried mung beans if using.  Half cover with the lid. Let cook till the vegetables are done: about 35 minutes. After 20 minutes, add the little pasta shapes or rice and complete cooking. Check the seasoning.

here it is
  • Serve with the lemon wedges. Lemon juice goes very well with this soup.

  1. Adjust the amount of water according to how you like your soup. Personally I like mine thick!
  2. Şehriye are great for adding a little interest. I like the little flower-shaped ones.
Afiyet olsun!