Make Ahead

Turkish Yogurt Soup with Lamb Meatballs

January  7, 2013
3 Ratings
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
  • 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
In This Recipe
  1. Yogurt Soup
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. Lamb Meatballs
  2. 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.
  3. 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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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.