Thimble Soup Video

Thimber Soup from zerrin gunaydin on Vimeo.

NOTE: Do not forget to turn on the volume to hear the music of a Turkish band, Bandista.

This is another popular wedding dish in Turkey, but this time its region is different. It is called yüksük çorbası (thimble for yüksük, soup for çorba) as its shape is like a small thimble. This is a traditional wedding dish of  Southern region of Turkey, especially of Çukurova area. It is mostly made in villages there. Everyone knows that yüksük çorbası will be served whenever there is a wedding in these villages as it is the main dish of the ceremony. Weddings are generally held in large squares of the village where all guests gather. And during the wedding, this traditional soup keeps boiling in big cauldrons on wood fire. Making this soup is not easy, so not only the families of bride and groom, but also their neighbors gather before the wedding day and make it altogether. As you can see in the video, the step which requires the most time is the filling the squares step. That’s why this step is done by all the women there while the final cooking/boiling step is done by one or two talented old ladies.

As it’s a wedding ceremony, the number of guests is more than two hundred. Both people of that village and the people living in villages nearby are invited to this ceremony, and this number increases.  The number of guests increases a lot more if the host of the ceremony is well known around the area. The higher the number of people joining the ceremony, the more reputable the host is.

Yuksuk corbasi is served to these guests on a tray by young men of the village. A handkerchief is tied on their arms to show that these young people are voluntary waiters of the ceremony. If people have something to  ask for something, they call one of these voluntary young people.

drumandhornMeanwhile, there are two men playing drum and horn (image source is here) and if people want, they dance. Generally the first people who start the dance are the groom and his friends. While they are dancing, generally the groom’s family members throw banknotes towards the dancing people. This is like a show of reputation and power. A little boy who is appointed by the drummer picks these banknotes and gives them to the drummer. They share the money at the end of the ceremony.

After having a bowl of yuksuk corbasi, the guests congratulate bride and groom or their parents and leave.

Besides its fame on wedding ceremonies, this dish is also made in cities in daily life as the city people have no chance of joining wedding ceremonies at villages. It is very similar to manti (another traditional Turkish dish which is famous in Central Anatolia), but their cooking styles are different.

Yüksük Çorbası


Its dough
–    4 cups flour
–    3 eggs
–    2 cups water, increase if needed
–    2 tsp salt

Knead the dough well by mixing all the necessary ingredients. While kneading,, wet your hands occasionally and you can add more water if it doesn’t reach the right consistency. Knead it until it doesn’t stick to your hands. Divide this dough into big equal pieces. The dough we knead makes 4 equal balls and a small ball. Sprinkle some flour on them and cover them.

Its filling mixture
–    3 small onions, chopped
–    1lb ground beef
–    Half bunch of parsley, chopped
–    1 dessert spoon salt
–    1 dessert spoon paprika powder
–    1 dessert spoon ground blak pepper
–    1 dessert spoon pepper paste

Mix all these ingredients for the filling mixture.

Sprinkle some flour on the counter. the one you take on it and sprinkle flour on it, too. Then press on this dough and flatten it. Then roll it out in a circular way. (See the video above). While rolling, sprinkle little flour on it occasionally so that it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin. When it gets as thin as we want, sprinkle flour on it and fold it as you see n the video. And cut this first into stripes, then into squares. Take one square, put little filling mixture into it and combine its four corners to give it a thimble shape. If you like, you can combine its two corners to give it a triangular shape. Put the ones you finish on a large tray, do not overfill the tray, otherwise they all stick to each other.

Its final cooking

–    2 cups meat broth
–    2 cups chickpeas, boiled
–    1 lemon

Put water (about 4 cups) in a pot. Add meat broth and chickpeas, bring it to boil. when it boils pour lemon juice and add salt. Then put the dumplings in the boling water little by little. After about 10 minutes, they’ll start to float, which means it’s done. Take it from heat and pour 1 cup of cold water into the pot. This will help the dumplings not to stick to each other.

We generally put about 3 cups of dumplings to make this dish and we leave the rest to put into freezer to cook later. If you want to do the same, just cook the rest of the dumplings in oven until they are light brown. Let them cool and then put them in freezer in freezer bags.
Now we can prepare its sauce.
Its sauce

–    2 tbsp olive oil
–    1 dessert spoon pepper paste
–    1 dessert spoon dried mint
–    Paprika powder and ground black pepper for your taste
–    2 tomatoes, grated

Note: If you don’t have pepper paste for the sauce, you can substitute it with red pepper flakes or paprika powder.

Heat the oil, put the pepper paste in it and mix. Add grated tomato and spices. It’s ready after 3 minutes. Pour the sauce into the soup and stir. It is ready to serve.

You can also prepare a bowl of yogurt sauce to serve with it.

Yogurt sauce
–    1 cup yogurt
–    3 cloves garlic, mashed

Mix these together until smooth and serve in a seperate bowl. If you want, you can also drizzle some yogurt sauce on this soup and enjoy it more. Personally, I love both versions, so I have half of my soup plain and then I put some yogurt sauce on it and double my joy for the other half. I don’t exclude none of the versions in this way.



  1. OysterCulture says

    I saw this one and had to jump on it, it looks so good so incredibly delicious – I love the way that you tie the traditions to the food, absolutely wonderful!.

  2. Leesie says

    Your dishes draw me deeper and deeper in love with Turkish culture. The dish looks absolutely divine! I am going back to watch the video now ;o)

    Thanks Zerrin, I hope you are enjoying your summer!

  3. says

    You know Zerrin that love posts about customs of every country this is the case with this Turkish traditional dish.

    My grandmother always made everything with yogurt :)



  4. says

    Leesie- As this dish is not an easy one, I got help from mom. Or I helped mom :) Hope you love the video as well.

    Gera- Customs always take my attention, too. I love learning about them. Your grandma and I have the same taste then:) Yogurt can accompany anything.

    Oyster- It was fantastic! whenever I look at this picture, I just want to make it again. Then I comfort myself by thinking about the frozen ones waiting for the next cooking.

  5. says

    What a hearty looking soup. I too, love to learn about different cultures. It’s nice to know a bit of the history before certain dishes. Thanks.

  6. says

    Zerrin! This looks so hearty! This concept of the village being involved in weddings is very similar to some traditional Hindu weddings in Trinidad. In the villages, most of the older ladies help make the food, so there’s always plenty good food to go around. Thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    Zerrin, that is a work of love, but the flavor of this soup…I can only imagine how wonderful this tastes. Now I am very sorry that my husband and I couldn’t attend a wedding in Turkey. One of his sicilian colleagues married a turkish girl and we were invited to attend, but it was impossible for us to leave Italy at the time. We have been invited again for at least a weekend visit to Istanbul where the couple lives. Maybe we can get out there in the fall. How is the weather at that time?

  8. says

    Jenn- Absolutely agree on the history of foods. I have a big curiosity on how they came out first.

    Natasha- Thanks for that info about Hindu weddings. I know that they love dancing a lot, but didn’t know about their wedding foods.

    Rowena- It was so wonderful that I wanted to have one more bowl just after finishing the first one. I strongly recommend you to come visit Istanbul, the most wonderful city I’ve seen. You can check my post I wrote on Istanbul about a month ago. Fall is one of the best seasons to visit there. If you come in September, it’s neither cold nor hot, a wonderful weather. But if you go there in October or November, it gets cool, so you should bring some thick clothes. Hope you come and enjoy

  9. says

    all that goes into this soup-the time, the teamwork, the love (the dancing) that must pour into it-well, it makes me wish that i could taste it. somehow, i’m not sure that it would taste the same without a few friends coming over to help make it. i will keep this recipe in my back pocket until the fall comes and invite a few friends to come over and help me make it.

    thank you, zerrin. i cannot wait to look around your blog a bit more. (and thank you for dropping by mine to read about the fabulous vanessa).

  10. says

    Hi zerrin,
    Thank you for the nice comments!

    I love, love, love your site..It is great to learn about other countries traditions.


  11. says

    Zerrin, I am becoming more and more loving your cooking. WOW, it’s amazing to watch you to make the dough and the way how you roll them is very very unusual. I don’t even think I can do that. Those squares are so tiny, it’ll take forever, but it’s a worth the effort. Definitely making this, and love the ending. Is he your dad?

  12. says

    Hey Zerrin, just wanted to let you know that I’ve passed along an award to you on my blog today. 😉

  13. says

    Cate- Thank you for visiting my blog. Teamwork is a must for this soup. You understand what I mean if you watch the video. But it’s definitely worth.

    Erica- I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about your traditions from you. This is what I love about blogging, we meet and learn more cultures through it.

    Elra- It was mom rolling the dough in the video. Did I tell that she is a wonderful cook before? I was the assistant of her to close those tiny squares. There must be teamwork for this special soup, otherwise it takes forever as you say. Happy to hear that you love the video. Yes, it is dad enjoying the soup. Believe or not, he and my hubby helped us as well to finish making the soup.

  14. says

    Thats very nice historical info zerrin, the soup looks so hearty and fulfilling! you have so many grt recipes here, expect me often :)

  15. says

    This soup looks flavorful and delicious! The video is really helpful in showing all the steps…thanks for a great post! :)

  16. says

    Where do I start? The soup is simply fantastic and I’m in awe of the incredible effort to make these small dumplings! Thimble soup is indeed a delicious labor of love.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading about the customs of courtship and weddings in Turkey; there is such a deep sense not only of family but of the whole community! It’s a wonder that people would want to leave their home villages with such support.

    And finally, your father is so lucky – he always gets to enjoy these lovely dishes in the videos! 8-D


  1. […] procedure to make these tumac squares is almost the same with Thimble Soup(Yüksük Corbasi), so you can check the recipe for the dough here. The only difference is that you will cut the […]

  2. […] than the weddings today. And they would always serve wheat pilaf (with lamb or chicken topping) and thimble soup together. These were the main wedding dishes in my village. All neighbors of the wedding host would […]

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