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Turkish Mint Yogurt Soup (Yayla Corbasi)

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Yayla corbasi (or Yayla Çorbası) is one of the most popular Turkish soup recipes loved throughout the country. It is known as Highland soup or Meadow soup locally.

There are variations of this soup recipe throughout the Middle East but is best known in Turkey. It combines yogurt, mint and rice for a creamy, yet comforting soup. 

Also known as it makes for a great, healthy vegetarian meal that’s perfect as a light meal or a full lunch or dinner with bread.

About the Recipe

Yayla corbasi is a minty soup originating from Turkey. However, it comes in many different variations throughout the Middle East (such as the  Ash-e doogh soup in Iran).

It is one of the most popular soup recipes in Turkey alongside Mercimek corbasi, dominates corbasi and ezogelin corbasi.  

The integral ingredients of yogurt, mint and rice combine for a flavorsome soup that’s creamy yet healthy.

Why You Should Try It

Turkish recipes in general are delicious; they are full of rich flavors, yet use simple ingredients anyone would be able to find in their local supermarket.

This yayla corbasi is no exception. Here’s why you should get this soup into your weekly staple:

  • It has a delicious, creamy, tangy flavor that’s perfect during the winter months.
  • It’s very easy to make and can be ready in about 35 minutes.
  • It’s light and lean, but can be served with bread or extra rice for an extra filling meal.
  • It uses store board staples and very few ingredients.
  • You can make it in larger batches and enjoy it throughout the week.

Ingredients

  • Yogurt: we’ve used Greek yogurt but you can use natural yogurt as well as long as it’s plain. Low-fat yogurt also reduces the amount of saturated fat in the recipe, which is important if you’re following a Mediterranean diet.
  • Rice: any type of white rice (like basmati or jasmine) is fine. If you’re using brown rice, remember that it takes longer to cook than white (usually 30-35 minutes).
  • Thickening agent: the egg and flour thicken the soup.
  • Dried mint: traditionally the mint is sauteed in butter, but we’ve used olive oil to keep this recipe lean and healthy. If you want some extra flavor, feel free to use butter instead.

How to Make Yayla Corbasi (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Step 1 – Quickly wash rice and drain. This prevents the rice from clumping. Add the rice and 1.5L water to a pot, bring to boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes until the rice is cooked.

Step 2 – Meanwhile, add the Greek yogurt, egg, flour and lemon juice to a bowl and whisk thoroughly.

Step 3 – Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat. Add 3 ladles (1.5 cups or 350ml) of the water and rice to the mixture whilst whisking.

Whisking the mixture whilst adding the water tempers the sauce, bringing the mixture close to boiling point without the yogurt curdling.

Step 4 – Once the mixture is warm, strain through a sieve and add to the pot. Stir well and bring the mixture to a simmer. 

Step 5 – Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 6 – Whilst the soup is simmering, prepare the sauce. Add 4 tbsp olive oil and dried mint to the pan. Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the sauteed mint to the pan and stir well. It should have a creamy consistency.

Step 7 – Garnish with extra mint and chili powder. Serve with your favorite bread.

Cooking Notes & Tips

  • Use a large enough bowl for the egg mixture. Since you will be adding extra water to the mixture, then it’s likely to overflow if the size isn’t big enough. Whilst testing this recipe, one small-medium-sized bowl was sufficient for the ingredients of one person (100g Greek yogurt, egg, and 375ml water).
  • Add the mint to the pan once the oil is hot, not with the oil. Since you only need to cook the dried mint for 30 seconds, it’s very easy to burn it if you’re not paying attention. You won’t hear any sizzling noises, so it’s easy to miss.
  • You can cook the dried mint with butter. You’ll see some variations of this yayla corbasi that will use butter for the dried mint instead. Although this can add extra taste, we think it’s better to keep it lean and healthy and simply just use a little bit of olive oil instead. 
  • Ensure you temper the yogurt-egg-lemon mixture when adding water. Tempering involves whisking the mixture whilst adding the hot water slowly. This brings the mixture close to boiling point without the yogurt curdling so it can be added back into the soup.
  • Wash the rice before to avoid it sticking. This removes the excess starch so that the grains are more separate when cooked.
  • If you want the soup to be a bit more filling, add some extra rice. Remember though that although 100g/½ cup doesn’t seem like a lot, it will increase in size and be sufficient for the number of servings.
  • Want extra protein? Add some chickpeas. 

How to Store

  • In the fridge: keep in an airtight container and keep for 2 days.
  • In the freezer: it will lose its texture if frozen, so it’s best avoided if possible.
  • To reheat: ad the soup in a pot over medium heat for about 20 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

This Turkish mint yogurt soup can work perfectly fine by itself for a light lunch or dinner, but serve it with your favorite bread for some extra stodge. Pita is a great choice. Potatoes are also a great choice – try these Moroccan spiced potatoes alongside the soup.

Extra Soup Recipes

This yayla corbasi soup is a creamy, delicious soup. But if you want to experiment with some other Mediterranean flavors, then you can try these below.

Yield: 6

Yayla Corbasi

Yayla Corbasi

This creamy yogurt-mint Turkish soup makes for a delightful light lunch or dinner. Serve with your favorite bread for a hearty meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup (400g) low–fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (100g) rice
  • 6 cups (≈1.5L) water
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pinch of chili flakes

Instructions

  1. Quickly wash the rice and drain. This prevents the rice from clumping. Add the rice and 1.5L water to a pot, bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, add the Greek yogurt, egg, flour, and lemon juice to a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat. Add 3 ladles (1.5 cups or 350ml) of the water and rice to the mixture whilst whisking.
  3. Once the mixture is warm, strain through a sieve and add to the pot. Stir well and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Whilst the soup is simmering, prepare the sauce. Add 4 tbsp olive oil and dried mint to the pan. Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Add the sauteed mint to the pan and stir well. It should have a creamy consistency.
  6. Garnish with extra mint and chili powder. Serve with your favorite bread.

Notes

  • Ensure you temper yogurt-egg-lemon mixture when adding water. Tempering involves whisking the mixture whilst adding the hot water slowly. This brings the mixture close to boiling point without the yogurt curdling so it can be added back into the soup.
  • Wash the rice before to avoid it sticking. This removes the excess starch so that the grains are more separate when cooked.
  • Use a large enough bowl for the egg mixture. Since you will be adding extra water to the mixture, then it's likely to overflow if the size isn't big enough. Whilst testing this recipe, one small-medium sized bowl was sufficient for the ingredients of one person (100g Greek yogurt, egg and 375ml water).
  • Add the mint to the pan once the oil is hot, not with the oil. Since you only need to cook the dried mint for 30 seconds, it’s very easy to burn it if you’re not paying attention. You won’t hear any sizzling noises, so it’s easy to miss.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 124Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 33mgSodium 125mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 6g

Want More Delicious, Mediterranean Style Recipes?

If you’ve cooked this recipe, be sure to leave a comment or review! But if you’re looking for more:

  1. Find more Mediterranean-style recipes on our website.
  2. Try our free 7 day Mediterranean diet plan with 20 recipes.
  3. Get our 4-week Mediterranean diet plan, Med in 28 plan, that makes following the Mediterranean diet a breeze!
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