Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yogurt Soup

It sounds disgusting, I know. But it defied all my expectations: I thought it would taste awful, it didn't; I thought it would be a cold soup, it isn't.

With a fridge full of yogurt, I had to do more than eat a bowl of it with lunch and dinner every day. And even my daily smoothie wasn't making enough of a dent in my supply. Enter yogurt soup: this tart, tangy soup has a je ne sais quoi aspect that I've been searching for since I ate a creamy borscht on a Polish train from Berlin to Krakow in 1995. I'm not kidding. I've been searching for that balance of sour and salty for fifteen years, without success. Until now.

Yogurt Soup:

1/2 c. rice or other grain (barley or wheat berries are nice)
2 c. yogurt
1 egg
2 tbsp. flour
dried peppermint, heat (paprika or red pepper flakes; I'm using Turkish pul biber, which is spicy dried red pepper)

Rinse the rice and simmer in approx. 4-5 cups of water until done.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg and add salt -- perhaps 2 tsp to start; you really need to adjust to taste, but this soup wants salt! Add the flour and mix in. Add the yogurt and mix it in too.

Take a tbsp. of the boiling rice water and add to the yogurt mixture, stirring vigorously; repeat; repeat again. This gently warms the yogurt and egg so that neither curdle. Now add the whole shebang into the simmering pot; slowly simmer, stirring, for 10-15 minutes.

Top with mint and dried red pepper; squeeze lemon into each bowl as you serve if you like -- I don't find it necessary.

Afiyet olsun! (Bon appetit!)

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