Friday, September 16, 2011

When I go to the pazar by myself, I always bring home more food than two people can ever eat.

I can’t help it! All the colorful produce calls out my name and says “buy me, buy me.”

For example, 1 kilo of spinach purchased from the Tuesday pazar in Arnavutköy. What the heck to do with it all? I filled up the kitchen sink with water to give the spinach a bath and then tried to figure out what to cook with the spinach for dinner.

I rattled off three ideas to my husband, who actually was working from home that late afternoon. Do you want: spinach pilaf, spinach and yogurt soup or sautéed spinach with garlic?

He voted for the soup.

I found a simple summer recipe for Ispanaklı Yoğurt Çorbası (spinach and yogurt soup) in one of my Turkish cookbooks, The Sultan's Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook, by Ozcan Ozan. The base of the recipe requires eight common ingredients, plus seasonings to your taste. (BTW, the cookbook is an excellent addition to your collection and has a wide variety of Turkish recipes.)

I think it took me more time just to wash and trim the spinach than to actually make the soup.

If you happen to buy a bunch of spinach like me, I hope you’ll try this easy and delicious summer soup.

Afiyet Olsun!

Ispanaklı Yoğurt Çorbası (Spinach and Yogurt Soup)
(Adapted from The Sultan’s Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook)


2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped small
500 g. (about 1 lb.) fresh spinach, cleaned, stems trimmed and roughly chopped
1.2 L (5 c.) chicken stock or water
TT salt and freshly ground pepper
2 c. plain yogurt (I used half süzme yoğurt and half low-fat yogurt because that’s what I had on hand.)
2 T. flour
3 ea. large egg yolks
1 ½ T. fresh lemon juice

2 T. butter
1 T. ground paprika (I used part smoked paprika and part sweet paprika, which is what I had on hand again. The smoked paprika gave the soup a nice kick.)

1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for a few minutes, until its softened but not brown.
2. Stir in the chopped spinach. Add the stock, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan and cook for about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, flour, egg yolks and lemon juice.When the soup has finished cooking, slowly ladle some of the hot soup into your egg mixture and whisk like mad. Since you are adding a hot liquid into an egg mixture, you need to slowly temper the two mixtures together so you don’t create scrambled eggs. Temper about a good 12 ounces or so of the soup into the egg mixture, whisking after each addition, just as if you were making a custard or ice cream.
4. Then, add the tempered mixture back into the stock pot. Stir the soup, lower the heat and cook gently for about 10 minutes. The soup will slightly thicken. (Optional: if you would like a creamier soup like the one in my photo, just buzz it for a few minutes with a hand immersion blender.)
5. To make the butter garnish, just melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the paprika. Heat the mixture until it slightly sizzles.
6. To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and drizzle the paprika butter over each serving.

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Tina Maxima said...

I tasted this soup(yogurt corbasi) in Turkey..very delicious :)

Joy said...

Thanks Tina! Glad you enjoyed! Easy recipe if you want to try at home. =)