What is yayla çorbası?
Yayla çorbası or yoğurtlu çorba is a traditional Turkish soup. It is made from a mixture of round rice, yogurt (or labneh) and various spices such as dried mint or chili flakes.
In Turkey, this soup is considered to be particularly restorative. This is why it is served to the sick in the hospital. Great source of calcium, vitamin B2 and B12, potassium and magnesium, it is excellent for health. Everyone consumes it in Turkey at any time of the day and sometimes on a daily basis. It can very easily be prepared in advance and reheated.
What is the origin of yayla çorbası?
The origin of the yayla çorbası soup could be Assyrian. Today, it is consumed everywhere in Turkey and remains very appreciated, however it is with the region of Anatolia that it is most often associated.
In Turkey, this soup is served in winter because it is known to be particularly healthy thanks to the calcium that the yogurt contains. In addition, it is a filling soup, which is why it is generally consumed in the mountainous regions of the country.
Its name literally means “mountain soup”. It is part of the daily menu for mountain people. Yayla çorbası is also on the menu at many Turkish weddings and can be used to make a full menu.
How to make yayla çorbası
To prepare the yayla çorbası, it is imperative to use a round rice. The variety of yogurt used must be stirred yogurt (also known as Greek yogurt or Turkish yogurt). This can be replaced by labneh with a denser consistency. Rice is cooked in salted water but should not be drained.
The yoghurt is directly incorporated into it at the end of cooking, which will have a binding effect by combining with the starch contained in the rice cooking water. At the last moment, the melted butter in which the dried mint is infused, is added. At the very last moment, the chili flakes are added. The soup is always served hot. It can be eaten with a spoon or drunk directly as is often the case in the mountains.
What are the variants of yayla çorbası?
While mint or wild mint is commonly used to flavor yayla çorbası soup, other aromatic herbs may be used, such as purslane or parsley. Chickpeas, dried beans or barley can be added or replace rice. In some cases, eggs can replace yogurt.
It is said that each region of Turkey has its own soup. The word çorbası defines a soup, and there are many varieties, almost always containing yogurt and drizzled with butter flavored with mint or chili. They can contain potatoes, bulgur, spinach, chickpeas, bread, chicken, noodles, lentils, pumpkin or even small stuffed pasta.
It considerably enriches a dish by flavoring it a lot because the reaction obtained between the hot butter and the spices allows the aromas to diffuse particularly well in a fatty substance.
It is also a good way to decorate dishes because these infused butters often bring a lot of color as in yayla çorbası with green mint and intense red chili flakes. The flakes also tend to change the color of the butter and make it more orange.
Yayla çorbası, also known as yoğurtlu çorba, is a delicious traditional Turkish yoghurt and rice soup, that is flavored with mint.
- 1 cup round rice
- 2 cups Turkish yogurt (or Greek yogurt or labneh)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- Red hot pepper flakes
- 4 cups salted water
In a large saucepan, cook the rice for about 20 minutes over low to medium heat in 4 cups (1 liter) of salted water.
- At the end of the cooking, do not drain the rice.
- Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Beat the yogurt and add it to the rice.
- Adjust seasoning.
- When ready to serve, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the dried mint.
- Mix well and pour this mixture over the entire surface of the soup served in soup plates or bowls.
- Sprinkle with chili flakes.
- Serve very hot.