Do you have any idea what it is in the picture above? You might think that it looks like a kind of spice, bu it is not! Let me tell you; it is called tarhana in Turkish, which is a kind of soup powder made from dried and crumbled ingredients. It mainly contains onion, red bell pepper, green pepper, yogurt, flour and some spices. Tarhana is also the name of soup made from this dried stuff. This drying process is made in Summer, and it can be kept for several months. It’s always a great idea to have tarhana soup on freezing Winter days. It is said that if you have this soup often in Winter, you are protected against cold and your body is no longer weak. Even if you get a cold, tarhana soup can cure as it has several vitamins in little amount of it.
The root of tarhana goes back to our ancestors living in Middle Asia centuries ago. They would dry foods to be able to keep them longer and this soup came out in that way. They would even have this soup as breakfast, so it is said that they would rarely get a cold.
Today there are variations of tarhana in Turkey depending on the region it is made, but the most popular one is made in Usak, a city on the West of Turkey. And we are so lucky because my husband’s grandma lives in that city and she makes this soup powder, tarhana every summer and generously sends us a big bag of it (you can see it in the picture). I’m planning to share the recipe of this homemade soup powder soon!
Updated on 02/17/2011: You can find the recipe for tarhana in this Homemade Dried Soup post!