Yoghurt soup with rice, red pepper flakes and dried mint – Yayla Corbasi

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Yoghurt soup with rice, red pepper flakes and dried mint – Yayla Corbasi

Yayla Corbasi is a yoghurt based soup that dates back to our Nomadic roots. Turks have been enjoying yoghurt since their early days of wandering. It is used widely in soups, dips, meat and vegetable marinades, and even in desserts like Revani. This humble, easy-to-make soup is beautifully flavoured with dried mint and red pepper flakes and, for us, it is a meal in itself. You can use long grain rice instead of basmati rice if you prefer.

Serves 4
150g/6oz whole grain basmati rice, rinsed
1¼ litres/2pints water
15ml/1 tablespoon olive oil
500g/1¼lb plain, thick and creamy whole milk yoghurt
15ml/1 tablespoon plain, all-purpose flour
2 egg yolks
15ml/1 tablespoon dried mint
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

For the dried mint and red pepper flakes sauce:
30ml/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (you can use olive oil instead of butter, if you prefer)
5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes or paprika – you can use more for a spicier flavour!
10ml/2 teaspoons dried mint
Bring the water to the boil in a heavy saucepan and add the rice and the olive oil. Stir well and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Turn the heat off.
Beat the egg yolks and combine with the yoghurt and flour in a large bowl. Beat until smooth (the flour and egg yolks stabilize the yoghurt and keep it from curdling). Take a couple of spoonfuls of hot water from the pan and blend into the mixture. Pour in the egg mixture to the soup, stir in the dried mint and season with salt and ground black pepper. Combine well and simmer gently for another 10 minutes, or until the soup has a creamy consistency.
To make the dried mint and red pepper flakes or paprika sauce, melt the butter in a separate pan over a low heat. Stir in the dried mint and red pepper flakes and blend gently on a low heat (so that the spices don’t burn) for about 30 seconds. Pour this sauce into the soup, combine well.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of extra red pepper flakes if you like.
Afiyet Olsun.

Source: Ozlem’s Turkish Table