Seasoned Traveller
Recipe: Turkish Cold Yoghurt Soup

RECIPE » Cold Turkish Yoghurt Soup from Coskun Uysal

Words by Sofia Levin
Images supplied

Growing up in Istanbul, Tulum chef and owner Coskun Uysal would break the Ramadan fast with dishes that varied with the weather. This one-step Turkish yoghurt soup is one of his favourite traditional dishes, but he gives it a modern spin with dill granita.

For Coskun Uysal from Tulum restaurant in Melbourne, the clearest memories of Ramadan (or Ramazan as it’s called in Turkey) are of Eid, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan. In Turkey, Eid is also called Şeker Bayramı (Seker Bayram), which translates to “Sugar Feast” because of the plethora of sweets and traditional desserts.

“It’s the best day in the year. I would go to bed early with a present under the pillow and we’d go shopping the day before to buy brand new clothes to wear in the morning to go to the mosque, where we would gather with neighbours and friends to pray,” he says. “I could not wait to finish this prayer time to go home and help my mother prepare huge meals.”

Neighbours and family would be invited for a long lunch to mark the end of fasting. Coskun would greet everyone at the door, kissing the hands of older friends and relatives in a show of respect and waiting eagerly to receive sweets and small sums of money in return. On the table would be pide, mezze, salads and lamb, slow-cooked overnight.

Coskun says the food eaten during Ramadan and Eid depends upon the time of year in which they fall. This one-step cold yoghurt soup is a refreshing dish from Coskun’s cookbook, Tulum: Modern Turkish Cuisine, which is refreshing but also kept the family full during the day. Make it a day prior and keep it in the fridge and jazz it up with dill granita.

Turkish Cold Yoghurt Soup Recipe With thanks to Coskun Uysal

Serves 6 people

Cold Yoghurt Soup Ingredients

500g full fat yoghurt

2L water

50g cooked chickpeas

50g cooked barley

1 cucumber, finely sliced to garnish

1 radish, finely sliced to garnish

10 fresh mint leaves to garnish

10 fresh sprigs dill to garnish

2g salt

10g olive oil

juice of one lemon

Yoghurt Soup Method

Making the traditional version of this soup takes one, simple step: mix the yoghurt with all the ingredients except the herbs, cucumber and radish until it reaches a rich, soupy consistency. Refrigerate so that it’s cold, ideally the day before, then garnish with the leftover ingredients and optional dill granita (recipe below).

Dill Granita Ingredients

1L water

2 bunches fresh dill

50g apple cider vinegar

2g xanthan gum

ice to blanch

Dill Granita Method

1. Blanch the dill and then transfer into iced water to stop it cooking. Set aside.

2. Boil 1L water with the vinegar and xanthan gum.

3. Squeeze excess water from the dill and place into a blender with the 1L water mixture. Blitz for a few minutes until bright green.

4. Sieve into a container and freeze. Run a fork through it every 20 minutes until it become granita.

To assemble, place a mound of granita into each bowl of yoghurt soup and garnish as above.

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