Soups, the heroes of Turkish cuisine, passing from Central Asia to the Ottoman Empire and then from the Ottoman era to the present, still maintains the position they deserve, like their historical heritage with their regional diversity, nutrition and taste
Soups, the heroes of Turkish cuisine, which warm you up in the cold winter weather and refresh you in the summer heat, may seem like just a juicy dish at first glance, but they are never just that in Türkiye. There are hundreds of soup varieties in Türkiye, which are encountered as the starter dish and sometimes even as a flavor that is enough to fill a person on its own.
We can say that the history of soup in Türkiye dates back to Central Asia. This dish, which is a historical heritage from Central Asia to Ottoman cuisine, and from the Ottoman Empire to the present, is often consumed even as a breakfast meal.
Some of the soups that appeal to the eyes, as well as the stomach, with different presentation types are served with hot oil or dried bread pieces called croutons. When spices such as mint, cayenne pepper, black pepper and ground red pepper are added to it, it becomes the most delicious dish.
So, how about getting to know some of these delicious soups, which are the crown of tables and the starter of menus in Türkiye?
The main ingredient of this soup, which I prefer the most among soups, is red lentils, as the name “kırmızı mercimek” (red lentils) suggests. Potatoes and carrots usually accompany this soup, some even add onions to it. Fried red pepper in oil go well with lentil soup during the presentation. You can also make this soup very satisfying with a few pieces of crouton bread on it.
Although it is difficult to make according to some, I think it is a very easy soup to make. After all the ingredients are boiled in water, you pass them through a blender and make them grain-free, and that’s all. I recommend you to drink this soup, which is at the top of the special day menus, by squeezing lemon on it.
Ezogelin, which is similar to lentil soup that first springs to mind when Turkish soups are mentioned, is in fact very different from mercimek in terms of preparation and taste. It is also one of the very satisfying soups. The rice and bulgur put in it make this soup delightful.
In addition to rice and bulgur, red lentils, tomato paste, onions, garlic and different spices are added to ezogelin soup, which draws attention with its rich content. The difference from lentil soup is that in this soup, the ingredients are not blended and made smooth. Ezogelin, which has the characteristics of a granular soup, can be consumed by squeezing a lot of lemon on it.
Tarhana, a soup famous for healing, is one of the soups that can be on the menu for babies, children and adults. This is what my father says about this soup: “I am happy that I was born and tasted this soup.” If you give this soup to my father every day, who explains how much he loves tarhana with this sentence, he would drink it every day.
This soup, which warms the heart, especially in the freezing cold of winter days, can be made plain or sometimes with minced meat.
Yogurt has a special place in Turkish cuisine. Yogurt, which is consumed too much on its own as it is used in many dishes, is the main ingredient of “yayla” (highland) soup. After boiling this soup made with yogurt and rice, dry mint lightly burned in oil is added.
This soup, which is one of the indispensables of winter days, may be the favorite of those who like a slightly sour taste.
This soup, which is served to guests at weddings or special occasions – as per the name “düğün” (wedding) – turns into a main dish with meat, which is its main ingredient.
Some of the ingredients of this soup, which stand out with its satiety, are again flour and yogurt. Lightly fried red pepper and mint in butter added to it while serving, go very well with this soup.
The “yüksük” or thimble soup, which resembles a main dish with its plenty of main ingredients like ravioli and chickpeas, is one of the most nutritious soups. The soup, which you can choose as a stand-alone menu, is also delicious when made with broth.
Truthfully, there is no season for soup in Türkiye. In addition to the soups that warm you up on cold winter days, there are also soups that cool you on hot summer days. One of them is the ayran soup. This soup, which you can drink warm or hot, is usually preferred cold.
When serving ayran soup made with wheat, chickpeas and yogurt, you can add finely chopped dill or different herbs.
The main ingredient of this soup is, of course, tomatoes. An incredible taste emerges when the steaming crimson soup meets grated cheddar cheese on cold winter days. The additional croutons will both suit this soup and increase its satiety.
Do not think that there are no more soup varieties in Türkiye. If a recipe book on soup were to be published, I have no doubt that it would be a very thick volume. Therefore, it is not possible for me to fit them all here.
However, you can try these soup varieties, which have always been at the forefront of Turkish tables throughout history, in many restaurants in Türkiye. Have fun, and bon appetit!