Turkish Yogurt Soup with Lamb Meatballs

By • January 7, 2013 • 8 Comments

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Author Notes: A friend of ours from Turkey makes a crazy yogurt soup that involves making soup, dehydrating it, powdering it, and then using it to flavor a whole new soup. This is a different traditional yogurt soup, warm and comforting and much less effort! I gussied this one up a bit with the addition of little herby lamb meatballs.fiveandspice

Serves 4

Yogurt Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch chile flakes
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, to serve
  • Lamb meatballs, to serve
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the rice and chile flakes plus a generous pinch of salt, and cook for about 2 minutes more, until the rice is very lightly toasted.
  2. Stir in the water, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the rice is tender. Stir in the yogurt plus more salt and pepper, until the yogurt is fully incorporated. Adjust the salt to taste, then ladle the soup into bowls, add a couple of lamb meatballs to each serving, and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro.

Lamb Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped to a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt
  1. Heat your oven to 425F. In a mixing bowl, use your hands to mix together all the ingredients (use a couple pinches of the salt) until well-blended.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape the lamb into little walnut-sized balls and place them on the lined baking sheet. Roast them in the oven until they're just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Serve with the yogurt soup.
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Comments (8) Questions (1)


almost 2 years ago gingerroot

This is a great recipe! Easy, restorative and delicious. The first time we made it with beef meatballs (what I had on hand) and tonight a vegetarian version, adding lentils with the rice and topping it with anitaelectric's eggplant bacon. Can't wait to make it as written with lamb.


almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh, I'm so glad you've been enjoying it! That it's so easy and adaptable is a big part of what I love about it.


almost 2 years ago wwarren31

or, melt some butter in a small pan, once it's sizzling add dried mint and crushed red pepper or paprika and drizzle that over each bowl


almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

That would be delicious too! Great suggestion. It's hard not to love a sizzling herb/spice drizzle.


about 2 years ago Dessito

This is the easiest version I have tried so far of what is a favorite soup for me, so thanks for that. However, since the meatballs are only an option (and traditional yayla corbasi is meat-free), two generous pinches of dried mint should be added to give it proper taste. (And absolutely no cilantro, which I adore in general, but which takes the recipe too far away from its Middle Eastern inspiration.)


about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Glad it worked well for you. If you leave out the meatballs I would definitely agree that you'd want to sprinkle it with mint. And, cilantro may not be terribly authentic, but I had some around which is why I threw it on, and it was quite good. :)


over 2 years ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

I love it! On my way to the supermarket to get the ingredients...


over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hope you enjoy it!