Yogurt Corbasi is one of our favourite creamy vegetarian soups to cook at home.
Our homemade Yogurt Corbasi recipe, also known as Yayla çorbası and Turkish Yogurt Soup, is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under 40 minutes!
Spoon through a bowl of our healthy Yogurt Corbasi Soup featuring flavourful butter, mint, egg and red pepper flakes.
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What Is Soup?
Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.
Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.
Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.
In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).
Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.
History of Soup
Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.
The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.
The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.
In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.
English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.
What is Yogurt Corbasi?
Known to locals as Yayla çorbası or yoğurtlu çorba, yogurt soup is a popular Turkish meal. It is a yogurt soup cooked with a variety of herbs, rice, and sometimes chickpeas. Sometimes the yogurt is subsituted for homemade labneh.
Many culinary historians believe the origins of Yogurt Corbasi can be traced back to the Assyrians. Today the yogurt soup is enjoyed across Turkey but it’s most associated with the region of Anatolia.
In Turkey the soup is typically served in the colder winter months. Since the soup is dairy-heavy it’s a filling and hearty soup, generally consumed in the more mountainous regions in the country where cattle graze.
Its name literally translates to “mountain soup”. It can also be found on the menu at many Turkish weddings. When a steaming bowl of Turkish Yogurt Mint Soup is placed in front of you there’s reason for celebration!
Travel to Turkey by Making Yogurt Corbasi at Home
I love traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.
My fondest memories spooning through bowls of Yogurt Corbasi were at celebratory Turkish feasts in the cave town of Goreme, beach break in Bodrum, ancient city of Ephesus and a culinary walking tour of Istanbul.
Where To Eat Yogurt Corbasi
Haven’t traveled to Turkey before? It may be helpful to first sample Yogurt Corbasi at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You’ll get an idea for the desired thickness of the broth, intensity of mint flavour and ideal proportion of rice or chickpeas to add.
In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may offer healthy vegetarian Turkish Yogurt Caorbasi include Parallel, Byblos, Tabule, Fat Pasha, Maha’s, Masrawy Kitchen, Paramount Fine Foods, Anatolia, Barans, Meat Point, Sofra Istanbul and Pizza Pide.
My Family Loves Turkish Yogurt Soup
My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.
During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.
Eggs, butter, yogurt, and mint are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this savoury soup in the Fall at Thanksgiving or the colder months throughout the winter.
Is Yogurt Corbasi Vegetarian?
Yogurt Corbasi is a healthy meat-free soup popular with vegetarians.
Traditional recipes are not vegan friendly as egg, butter and of course yogurt are required to make this creamy Turkish soup.
Yogurt Corbasi Health Benefits
Our Yogurt Corbasi recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Packed with calcium and friendly probiotic bacteria, yogurt help keep your bones strong and your gut healthy. Yogurt may also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.
Fresh mint is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and can have a calming effect on the digestive system. It is also a good source of folate, which supports blood health.
Yogurt Corbasi Tips
This healthy homemade soup recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!
- Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
- We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
- Traditional recipes typically feature full fat Greek yogurt. Purchase the highest fat content you can in the Greek-style yogurt you purchase to enjoy the creamiest mouth feel.
- We’ve used basmati rice in this recipe but you could use any long grain rice. Some regional variations of the recipe also include cooked chickpeas so feel free to add them for additional protein.
- We’ve added red pepper flakes but if you like spicy foods feel free to add a few drops of your favourite chili oil or hot sauce.
What To Serve with Turkish Yogurt Mint Soup
We most often serve Turkish Yogurt Soup as a hearty lunch. If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our Yogurt Corbasi as a small portioned appetizer before serving heartier mains.
We love serving this soup with Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Old School Cheese and Onion Pie, Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs, Baked Chicken Cracklings, Homemade Savoury Pickle Pie, Tartiflette Reblochon or Ricotta Gnocchi.
After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.
If you have leftover soup you can store the soup base in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.
We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling. My mother often uses old glass pasta sauce jars to store soup in the freezer.
Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.
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Best Turkish Yogurt Corbasi Soup Recipe
Turkish Yogurt Corbasi Soup
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing bowl
- 0.5 cup Basmati Rice
- 5 cups Water
- 1.5 cups Greek Yogurt
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 tbsp All Purpose Flour
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Dried Mint
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 cup Fresh Mint garnish
- Place the basmati rice and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover, immediately turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, egg, flour and salt and pepper with a whisk. Make sure there are no clumps of yogurt or flour.
- Stir the yogurt mixture into the pot filled with cooked rice. Allow the mixture to heat through until steaming. Continue whisking without letting the soup come to a boil. If the soup becomes too thick for your preference, add a little more water.
- In a small pot heat the butter, dried mint and chili flakes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with melted mint chili butter and garnish with fresh mint leaves
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