Preparing a traditional fermented tarhana

August 11th, 2014 § 0

Tarhana is a traditional staple soup in Turkey.

There is no exact information about tarhana, but it was created by Cental Asian Turks as a way of preserving yogurt before the invention of refrigerator. Then it was brought to Anatolia by Selçuk Turks. During the Ottoman Empire it is enterd to Balkan countries.

Tarhana is said to be an oldest instant soup.

There is a legend in Turkey  about the word of tarhana. Once upon a time the Sultan was a guest at a home of a poor peasant family. The only food they have for the Sultan was a simple soup. The peasant’s wife embarrasingly said that all they offer him is a ‘dar hane soup’ (meaning poor house soup- literally narrow house). In this way, the dar hane soup became known as tarhana soup.

The coral coloured tarhana grains are prepared in summer with hot summer sun and served at every meal from breakfast to supper, during winter.

Various herbs and spices can be used in tarhana including the special tarhana herb.

  • 3 kg long red peppers (de-seeded and julien cut)
  • 2 kg tomatoes (cubed)
  • 1 kg onion
  • 1.5 kg strained yogurt
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • salt
  • 1,75 kg flour
  • Slice onions into rings.

    In a large cauldron put the onion rings. Add cubed tomatoes and julien cut red peppers.

    Place dill and parsley. Springle with salt and cook until it boils. After boiling, simmer until all the ingredients are very tender (about an hour).

    Take out the dill and the parsley bunches. Let cool.

    Pass through a blender.

    In a large bowl put the flour. Make a hole in the center and place the yogurt and mashed vegetables.

    Mix and knead well. Make a dough.

    Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it stay overnight to fermentate. If it stays more than a day, it will be very sour.

    Divide the dough into walnut sized pieces. Spread out them on a clean tissue cloth to dry.

    Let dry them under the sun in an airy place. Upside down during the drying process.

    Leave in the sun for at least 5 days to be dried completely.

    Sieve with a food processor and store in glass container or in gauze bags.

    You don’t have to wait to come winter to make a tarhana soup. You can immediately consume it with gusto.

    Fish soup ~ ΚΑΚΑΒΙΑ

    March 20th, 2013 § 0

    Here, the fishmongers sell different kinds of white fresh fishes as a set, ready to make a fish soup. I saw the same in Ayvalık. They sell whatever they haul that day.

    These fishes are;  sea bream (izmarit), red gurnard (kırlangıç), skorpion (iskorpit), wrasse (lapina) or whiting (mezgit).

    Try to buy a mixture of fishes to make a wonderful Aegean kind of fish soup.

    This soup is thickened with egg.

  • 1/2 kg. sea bream (izmarit), sea robins or red gurnard (kırlangıç), scorpion fish (iskorpit) and whiting (mezgit) mixture
  • 3 potatoes (cut into large cubes)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot (large cubes)
  • 2 celery stalks with ribs (chopped)
  • 1 T parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T flour
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • ground black pepper
  • red pepper
  • salt
  • Put the cleaned and carefully boned fish into a pan.
    Add potatoes carrot, onion, chopped celery stalk with ribs, salt and pepper.
    Cook them in 1.5 lt. water until the fish flakes easily with a fork for about 20 minutes.
    In another pan, combine 1 T. flour with extra virgin olive oil. Strain the fish water and add it to the flour-oil combination.
    Bring it to a boil for 15 minutes all together, stirring consistently until the potatoes are tender and the fishes are cooked well and flakes apart.
    Take the fish out of its pan. Pull the boiled fish to shreds and add to the flour-oil mixture. Cook them all together for another 5 minutes.
    Before serving, beat egg yolk with 1 lemon juice in a small pot. Add some fish water bit by bit by stirring continuously. Finally add it to the soup.
    Season with black pepper flakes for decoration.
    Taste before serving, to make sure that the soup has a good balance of seasoning and freshness.
    Serve with roasted slice of a sourdough bread.

    Red pepper soup

    March 12th, 2013 § 0

    • 6 red bell peppers
    • 1 medium onion
    • 2  T vinegar
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 T butter
    • salt
    • white pepper flakes
    • 4 T grated hard yellow cheese

    Wash peppers and dry. Place the peppers on an aluminium covered oven tray.

    Roast the peppers turning frequently until the skins blacked and blister on all sides.

    Remove peppers and place in a brown paper bag rolling up the open end to seal tightly to remove the skins easier.

    Let stand for 10-15 minutes.

    Remove the skins, stems and seeds.

    In a large pot put butter.

    Add onion and garlic. Cook until they begin to soften.

    Add vinegar, cook on high heat.

    Add roasted peppers. Season with salt and white pepper flakes.

    Simmer until they are tender.

    Then blend all with a food processor until smooth.

    Garnish with grated any kind of hard yellow cheese before serving hot.

    Mushroom soup with clotted cream

    February 19th, 2013 § 0

    This is one of the dinner saver soup with few ingredients and really quick to make.        

  • 100 gr mushrooms (Portobello or button type)
  • 1 medium onion (grated)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or clotted cream (kaymak)
  • 1/4 cup yellow cheese (grated)
  • salt
  • white pepper
  •  
    Slice the mushrooms.

    In a saucepan put butter and blend with flour. Cook slowly stirring until they incorporate together well.

    Add grated onion and sliced mushrooms with 1 cup of water. Stir to thicken.

    Mix cream, cheese, salt and pepper. Cook the soup under medium heat until the soup becomes smooth and velvety.

    Drizzle grated cheese over the hot soup and serve immediately.

    Red lentil soup with carrot, leek, celery and spinach

    December 8th, 2011 § 0

    • 1/2 cup red lentil
    • 1/2 leek
    • 1 onion (cut in slices)
    • 2 root spinach
    • 1 celery leave
    • white cheese
    • red pepper flakes
    • curry powder
    • salt

    Put lentil, leek, onion, spinach, celery leave into the pressure cooker. Add 1 cup of water. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

    Then blend the mixture with a food processor until smooth.

    Place the blended lentil-vegetable mixture into a pot and boil by stirring time to time. 

    Sprinkle red pepper flakes, curry powder and salt.

    Garnish with white cheese and croutons before serving hot.

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