If you're looking for an easy, delicious, and filling hot soup to make during these colder months, then look no further! This Turkish Yogurt Soup (Yayla Corbasi) doesn't require a ton of preparation or steps, only contains basic and natural ingredients, and is incredibly filling and healthy.
Have you combined yoghurt and mint in a recipe yet? Give it a try with this yayla çorbası or make a cold and refreshing Turkish cacik and see how well they go together.
What Is Yayla Corbasi?
Yayla corbasi, also known as yogurt corbasi or Turkish yoghurt soup, is a traditional Turkish hot soup from the northern regions near the Black Sea, however it is commonly found all over Turkey. Each region has its own twists to the recipe, but the base remains the same.
This is a rice soup with yogurt topped with a mint sauce. What makes this specific soup recipe amazing is the cooking method used and the basic ingredients it contains.
It is incredibly healthy, very light yet filling, has perfectly balanced tangy and salty flavors, and can be served with a wide variety of breads like no flour cornbread or Turkish flat bread called bazlama.
Today, we will be having a look at this delicious traditional yogurt soup! We will discuss all the ingredients used, alternatives and substitutes, traditional toppings or additional add-ins, and of course, how to actually make the soup itself.
The most important ingredients in a traditional yayla corbasi recipe are the rice and yogurt.
When choosing a rice for this recipe, the best type would be a white long-grain rice like Basmati, Jasmine or Turkish Osmancik rice. You can of course use other types, however, it will affect the flavor and cooking times.
This Turkish soup is traditionally made with plain homemade yogurt. You can have a look at our homemade yogurt recipe from scratch that works perfect for this soup. Homemade yogurt like this one has a thinner consistency compared to store-bought yogurt and is also much healthier. It also doesn’t contain any preservatives, colorants, or thickeners. So why don’t you make your own yogurt?
Can I Use Greek Yogurt?
You can definitely use store-bought or homemade Greek yogurt for this recipe. Often Greek yogurt is also labeled as "double-thick" or "double-cream". These are the same type of yogurt, just with a different name for legal purposes.
The biggest difference you will see is that store-bought Greek yogurt is much thicker than homemade yogurt. This won’t affect the recipe much and you won’t even notice the difference.
How To Make It
This yayla corbasi recipe is extremely easy to make! Because the majority of the time is waiting for the rice to cook, you can easily make this while preparing additional dishes, or even just when you're extremely busy.
First, cook the rice. Combine the 4 cups of water and rice in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Allow the rice to boil until it is fully cooked through and tender.
Second, combine yogurt, yolk, and flour. While the rice is still cooking but close to being done, combine the yogurt, egg yolk, and flour in a large mixing bowl.
Third, warm the yogurt with boiling water. You will slowly add one ladle (about ⅛ cup) of boiling hot water to the yogurt mixture. Mix the yogurt and water quickly until they are fully incorporated. Repeat this process until the yogurt mixture is slightly above lukewarm temperature.
Fourth, add the yogurt mixture to the rice. Once the rice has been fully cooked and the yogurt has been warmed, slowly add the yogurt into the pot of rice while continuously stirring to incorporate them evenly.
Fifth, allow the mixture to boil. Once you’ve added the yogurt, stir for a few minutes then leave the mixture to boil uncovered for another 10 minutes. Do not cover the pot with a lid as it might boil over. Once the soup has finished cooking, season it with some salt.
Sixth, make the sauce. To make the sauce, simply melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the dried mint.
Seventh, garnish and serve. Once all your components are ready, you can dish the soup in a bowl and either serve the butter-mint sauce on top or on the side. You can garnish your soup with some fresh mint sprigs or red pepper flakes.
Yayla Corbasi doesn’t have a ton of “traditional toppings”. Most often people garnish the soup with additional fresh mint leaves or sprigs, and sometimes even red pepper flakes.
The fresh mint leaves give a beautiful simple contrast to the filling rice soups, while the red pepper flakes bring in an entirely new flavor element.
If your soup includes chickpeas, additional pan-fried spiced chickpeas can also be added as a garnish.
How to Add Yogurt to Soup Without Curdling?
A cook’s worst nightmare is spending a ton of time on a dish and once adding the yogurt, it completely curdles.
There is an extremely simple solution to this problem that most recipes don’t share with you.
The yogurt curdles because of the drastic temperature changes between the boiling hot soup base, and the cold yogurt. To prevent the temperature change, simply heat the yogurt.
The easiest and safest way to do this is by slowly adding boiling hot water to the yogurt and mixing it in (see step 3 in the recipe above).
A very common traditional ingredient that you will often find in this soup are chickpeas. If you are adding dried chickpeas, make sure to soak them for about 1-2 hours before adding them to the soup. You can add them during the final 10-15 minutes of boiling.
If you are adding canned chickpeas, simply rinse and drain them, and also add them during the final 10-15 minutes of cooking.
Other fun ingredients you can include are green onions, leeks, or spinach. These aren't traditional ingredients, but they do give a lot of color and delicious flavor. These ingredients cook very quickly, so if they are sliced, they can be added during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
More Turkish Soup Recipes
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Yayla Corbasi (Turkish Yogurt Soup)
A tangy comforting soup with yogurt and rice. The butter sauce with dried mint on the top takes the soup to the next level!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Turkish
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 yolk
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ¼ cup rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- Put 4 cups of water and rice in a pot and boil until rice gets tender.
- Mix yogurt, yolk, and flour in a bowl. And when rice is done, we will pour the yogurt mixture into the pot. But be careful on this. Don’t do it at a time so that yogurt won't curdle.
- Take a ladle of boiling water and pour it into that yogurt mixture, mix it quickly.
- Do it a few times and when the mixture gets warm enough, pour it into the pot slowly and stir continually at the same time.
- Keep stirring a few minutes and then leave it to boil.
- Do not cover it, or it might boil over. It will be done after boiling for about 10 minutes.
- Add salt as a final step here when it's done.
- For the sauce, heat butter in a pan.
- Add dried mint when it melts. Pour it either on the whole soup in the pot or seperately when serving.
If you aren’t careful about the following tips, your soup doesn’t have the right consistency and yogurt might curdle.
- Don’t forget to warm the yogurt mixture before pouring it into the pot.
- Add salt as a final step, not at the beginning or during boiling.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 156
- Sugar: 2.9 g
- Sodium: 328 mg
- Fat: 10.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.8 g
- Protein: 7.6 g
- Cholesterol: 70.6 mg
Keywords: yogurt soup, Turkish soup, yayla corbasi
Hi, it's Andrea from Greece. I love your recipes. This is great and easy! I've been looking for an authentic version of this soup - so easy and with my pantry staples. I was using a recipe from the 1970s cookbook vegetarian classic "Diet for a Small Planet". "Turkish Barley Soup", which is delicious, by the way. But I wonder how much was changed for American kitchens and tastes (pearl barley, buttermilk, onion, fresh dill). This uses fresh dill instead of dried spearmint (dyosmos) that's familiar to our tastes but maybe not so much elsewhere. Perhaps your followers could substitute fresh dill if they can't find spearmint.
Zerrin & Yusuf says
Great to 'meet' a reader from Greece! We LOVE Greek food (and people of course). So happy to hear that you like our recipes.
Thank you for the fresh dill idea. It would be a great sub for mint. We can even use both 🙂
Cheers from UK!
I tried this soup for the first time during our stopover in Turkey when our flight to Istanbul was diverted to Antalya due to winter blizzard. It was so tasty and warming! Loved it and cooked it at home twice already, it’s one of really comfort foods ❤️
Zerrin & Yusuf says
Only a warming soup like this could make you feel better in such circumstances.
We are glad you liked it and have made it yourself at home. It is one of our staples during cold days.
Adesola Fatilewa says
I made the soup and it was so delicious. Thanks, i appreciate the details and tip you share so freely. Without them one could make mistakes and not have desired result
Zerrin & Yusuf says
Glad you liked the soup. It is a very traditional Turkish soup that is not very well-known around the world.
So we are happy to hear that you enjoyed it.
Monster Alice says
Just tried this soup as takeout (covid, you know) and was blown away. I'm pleased to see it is so simple to make - it could be campfire food if you don't mind hiking in 2 pans.
Zerrin & Yusuf says
So glad you liked it. Simple is good, right?
Nice Blog !! A Very Yummy Wonderful and Healthy Soup Recipe !!! WOW Nice Photos to See. I'll Definitely Try it. Thank You for Sharing that Lovely Food.
Glad you liked it Veenas! This is not a very common soup around the world, but quite popular in Turkey. One of our favorites! Hope you like it as much as we do.
Cajun Chef Ryan says
Yes, food and the memories they can conjur up are so amazing. In fact I can remember the first time I ate wasabi paste and my whole head exploded into an amazing feeling of tingling, it was like a firecracker had gone off inside the back of my brain. This soup looks amazing, thank you for sharing.
A Canadian Foodie says
Never heard of this soup - but am absolutely intrigued. I do make my own yogurt so will absolutely be trying it. I do know the power of scent and memory is so revealing. I received a beautiful bar of strong perfumed soap when my first child was born. In those days, we were in the hospital for at least a week. I used the soap all of the time in the hospital as a treat... and when I came home, I wrapped it up with all of the baby cards and momentos from the hospital. Everytime I open it up (about every 10 years) a rush of emotion floods back that is opened only with the fragrance of that lovely soap.
Biren @ Roti n Rice says
This sounds like an interesting and tasty soup. Glad it brought back good memories for you 🙂