Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Yogurt Soup with Spinach/ İspanaklı Yoğurt Çorbası

at Ayvacık market on Friday -
 the vendor didn't want to appear in the photo but I told her - and showed her - her foot was there!
that was ok. I loved her display.
Here is a really Turkish soup that almost had TT weeping.  You are making all these things from my childhood, he said.  I am only happy that at last I have discovered them.
she on the contrary was delighted to have her photo taken -
isn't she lovely?

We all know that yogurt is a mainstay of the Turkish diet and at home, it is one of the items that I simply must have in the fridge. For Turks it isn’t considered a dessert or something to be eaten on its own. Rather, you eat it with your main dish be it dolma or a meal/yemek based on mince and vegetables.
Here the whole soup is based on it! I did wonder if it would be slightly sourish in taste but it wasn’t at all.  As with all Turkish soups, it isn’t one you would serve at a dinner party but it’s perfect for lunch or supper with some nice bread.

The ingredients are super-healthy, no preservatives here, just fresh spinach and yogurt mixed with a combination of eggs, flour and lemon juice and served with a typical drizzle of melted butter with red pepper.

here is the old granny from Zeytin Çiçegi
When I saw the mounds of spinach at the market on Friday, the idea of a soup came naturally into my head.  The usual one would be cream of spinach but since I am cooking Turkish these days, I embarked on this recipe based on Özcan Ozan’s ‘Sultan’s Kitchen’, a new find for me.

I recommend it highly! The amounts make for the perfect consistency, the mark of a good soup and a good recipe: not too thick, not too thin.

Read on and follow me:

Ingredients for Yogurt Soup with Spinach/İspanaklı Yoğurt Çorbası

Serves 4-6

½ kg/ 1lb fresh spinach leaves, trimmed

how beautiful and fresh are these?

5 cups chicken stock or water

2 tbsp butter

1 small onion, grated ( ½ cup)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups plain yogurt

2 tbsp plain flour

3 egg yolks

1 ½ tbsp lemon juice

To serve:

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp red pepper/paprika/pul biberi


  •  Place the spinach and stock in a large saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn off the heat. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the spinach leaves. Finely chop the spinach and set it aside. Reserve the stock.

the cooked, chopped spinach

  • In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat, add the onion and cook gently for about 2 mins until it’s softened but not browned. Stir in the chopped spinach. Add the reserved stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan and cook for about 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile, mix the yogurt, flour, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Hold a sieve over the soup and pour the yogurt mixture into it. Using a wooden spoon or ladle, push the mixture  through the sieve, into the soup. Stir the soup, lower the heat, and cook very gently without boiling for another 10 mins.

adding the lemon juice to the other ingredients
sieving the yogurt mixture into the soup itself
cooking it all through very gently

  • To serve, melt the butter in a small pan over low heat and stir in the red pepper/paprika. Heat the mixture until it sizzles. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and drizzle the butter mixture over each serving. Serve at once.

thanks to friend Neyran, I have a special little copper pan just for this!
and here we are: yogurt soup with spinach drizzled with sizzling
butter and red pepper!

Afiyet olsun!

BTW here is what I did with those spinach roots:

you can't possibly consign them to the bin:

Cook the roots with a little onion and chopped tomato, and then toss in just a bit of  mincemeat with the roots on top. Add some water, seasoning, and a spoonful of tomato paste, and let the whole pan gently simmer for about 25 mins. Serve with yogurt.

very  tasty, very healthy, very economical!

This is typically Turkish!

Again, afiyet olsun!