Turkish Orzo Soup, or Şehriye Çorbası, is a super simple, yet irresistible Turkish classic. With just orzo, tomatoes, dried mint, and garlic, this easy recipe creates a comforting soup in under 30 minutes.
Şehriye Çorbası is our favorite quick and comforting meal during busy days. It's easy to make and brings warmth and comfort. We often pair it with a feta grilled cheese sandwich for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
What is Şehriye Corbasi?
Şehriye Çorbası, translating to "Orzo Soup" in English, is a traditional Turkish soup made with "şehriye," which means orzo pasta or vermicelli in English.
"Şehriye" is pronounced as "Sheh-ree-yeh," and "Çorbası" as "Chor-bah-suh." The word "şehriye" can describe both types of pasta, and the soup can be made with either one.
The preparation of şehriye corbasi begins with a simple yet flavorful base of tomato paste, dried mint, and garlic. These ingredients are cooked together, then combined with water and orzo. The soup is cooked until the orzo is tender, finishing off with a splash of lemon juice.
It's one of the classic dishes in Turkey, but you might not find it often in restaurants. We think sehriye corbasi is underrated, probably because its ingredients are so simple.
Despite this, it's a soup that's made in every Turkish home. We believe it's a special recipe worth sharing because it brings the simple, comforting flavors of Turkey to your table.
What Makes This Orzo Soup Turkish?
This orzo soup is uniquely Turkish because of how it's made and the ingredients used.
Sehriye soup includes special touches like tomato paste, dried mint, and garlic, which are common in Turkish cuisine. Adding lemon juice at the end gives it a refreshing taste that's loved in Turkey.
The way we cook orzo soup also shows its Turkish roots. Starting with sautéing the tomato paste and spices is a cooking style seen in many Turkish dishes. This process brings out rich flavors, making the soup more delicious.
Want More Tomato Based Soups?
We love the flavor of tomatoes in soups. So we make several soups using tomatoes. Here are our favorites:
About the Ingredients
Before we start cooking, let's look at the ingredients we need for this sehriye corbasi. If you don't have some of them, we'll give you some easy swaps:
- Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the garlic and tomato paste. You could substitute with other cooking oils, like vegetable oil or butter.
- Tomato Paste: Adds a depth of flavor to the soup. We use homemade tomato paste, but store-bought is definitely okay.
- Garlic: Gives a wonderful aroma and flavor to the soup. You can increase the amount if you want.
- Dried mint: It is a must in this recipe. We don't recommend fresh mint as it won't give the same flavor.
- Paprika: Adds a touch of warmth and color to the soup. You can substitute it with a bit of chili powder or cayenne pepper for some spice, but be careful as these are usually hotter.
- Salt & Black Pepper: Basic seasonings to enhance the flavors. Feel free to adjust according to your taste.
- Tomatoes: We use fresh puréed tomatoes. You can use canned tomatoes too.
- Water: You can use vegetable or chicken stock if you want.
- Orzo (uncooked): This is a type of small pasta and a staple ingredient in Turkish cooking. We use it often, especially in two recipes: Turkish Rice Pilaf and this sehriye corbasi. This pasta is called "arpa şehriye" in Turkish. You can substitute it with vermicelli (tel şehriye in Turkish).
- Parsley: We use it both in the soup and as a garnish. The stems give an amazing flavor, chop them too when adding it into the pot.
- Lemon Juice: Adds a bit of freshness and tang to the soup. You can increase or decrease the amount to adjust it to your taste.
If you want to jazz it up a bit, there are plenty of extras you can add to your şehriye çorba:
- Vegetables: Adding some chopped veggies like carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, celery or spinach can give your soup a bit more body and flavor. Just cook them with the pureed tomato and then follow the recipe as it is.
- Protein: For a heartier soup, consider adding some protein. You can add cooked and shredded chicken, ground beef, or even cooked chickpeas after the orzo is cooked.
- Cheese: Adding some crumbled feta cheese on top of each bowl just before serving can give a nice savory touch.
How To Make It
Making şehriye corbasi is straightforward and rewarding. Here are the steps to create this delicious soup:
- Start with the Base: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Mix in tomato paste, mashed garlic, dried mint, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir these ingredients constantly for about 30 seconds. This step is crucial for releasing the aromatic flavors.
- Combine with Tomatoes: Pour pureed tomatoes into the pot, stirring well to blend them with the tomato paste mixture.
- Add Liquid: Pour in water or your choice of broth and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add Orzo and Parsley: Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Stir in the orzo and chopped parsley. Cook until the orzo is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Final Touches: After the orzo is cooked, take the soup off the heat. Stir in lemon juice. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, or paprika, depending on your preference.
- Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of parsley, and serve hot.
Here are the best ways to serve şehriye çorbası:
For an added touch, consider a few toppings. A sprinkle of fresh herbs, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, a bit of cheese or a handful of croutons can elevate your soup.
This soup pairs well with a slice of homemade bread. Consider breads like:
You can even make our quick bread rolls right before making the soup and serve them together.
Make it a complete meal by serving it alongside a Turkish Salad or Fig Salad.
With a Sandwich:
Our air fryer toasted sandwich would make a perfect match!
Orzo is a type of pasta. It's shaped like rice, but it's made from wheat, just like other pastas.
Your tomato soup might be bland because it needs more seasoning. Try adding more salt, pepper, or herbs to improve the flavor.
If your soup has become too thick after storing, you can add a bit of water or broth when reheating to thin it out.
Orzo, like most pasta, is relatively high in carbohydrates. If you're on a low-carb diet, you may want to substitute the orzo with a lower-carb option like cauliflower rice or spiralized vegetables.
Storing & Reheating
Here's how to save your şehriye soup for later and heat it up when you're ready to eat:
- Storing: Once the soup is cool, put it in an airtight container. Keep it in the refrigerator. It can stay good for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezing: If you want to keep the soup longer, you can put it in the freezer. It can stay good for up to 2 to 3 months. Remember to leave some space in the container because the soup will get bigger when it freezes.
- Reheating: When you're ready to eat the soup, heat it up on the stove. If the soup is frozen, let it thaw in the fridge overnight before you heat it up. If the soup is too thick, add a bit of water or broth.
As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!
Şehriye Corbasi (Turkish Orzo Soup)
Şehriye Çorbası is a comforting Turkish soup made with orzo pasta, enriched with tomato paste, dried mint, and garlic, then brightened with a splash of lemon juice. It's a simple, hearty dish that combines the warmth of home cooking with the ease of preparation, making it perfect for any meal.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Turkish
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed or grated
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup pureed tomatoes (you can use canned tomatoes)
- 5 cups water (use vegetable broth or chicken broth if you want)
- ½ cup orzo
- ¼ cup chopped parsley (plus more to garnish)
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add tomato paste, mashed garlic, dried mint, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the pureed tomatoes, stirring well to integrate the tomato paste mixture with the tomatoes. Let this mixture cook for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Pour in the water or your choice of broth. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the orzo and chopped parsley. Allow the soup to simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
- Remember to stir the soup occasionally while it is simmering to prevent the orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the orzo is cooked, remove the soup from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If you want it a bit spicier, add a bit more black pepper or paprika.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with parsley and serve hot.
- When adding the tomato paste and spices, make sure to stir constantly. This prevents the ingredients from burning.
- Stir the soup occasionally as it simmers. Orzo has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot if left undisturbed.
- If the soup becomes too thick, you can add a little more water or broth to reach your desired consistency.
- Don’t forget to taste the soup towards the end of cooking. Adjusting the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice can significantly enhance the flavor.
- Enjoy it with traditional Turkish bread like Ramazan Pidesi.
- The soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container.
- When reheating, you may need to add a little water or broth, as the orzo tends to absorb more liquid upon sitting. Warm it over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s heated through.
- Nutrition information given here is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 107
- Sugar: 3.8 g
- Sodium: 407.8 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.9 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: şehriye corbasi