|Time||ca. 3 weeks|
Tarhana Çorbası is a Turkish soup made from a fermented and dehydrated mix of flour, yogurt, onions, tomatoes and green peppers. The exact composition of tarhana differs from region to region in Turkey.
for the Tarhana
- 3 ripe tomatoes
- 3 green peppers
- 3 onions
- 2 cups / 500 ml live yogurt
- 1 tsp. dried active yeast
- ½ cup tepid water (ca. 100ºF / 40ºC)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. paprika
for the Soup
- Always follow all FOOD SAFETY precautions when preparing food.
- Dissolve the sugar in the tepid water and sprinkle the dried yeast on top. Allow to soften 5 minutes or so and stir.
- Blanche, peel and seed the tomatoes. Peel, dice and roughly chop the onions. Remove the stem, seeds and membrane from the green peppers and cut roughly.
- In a blender or food processor, purée the tomatoes, onion, green pepper and yogurt in batches.
- Combine all the ingredients except the flour and mix well. Gradually add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic then place in a large non-reactive bowl and cover with waxed paper (don't use plastic wrap). Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 12 days. Punch down the dough once a day. If the dough becomes watery, knead in some more flour. Let stand until the dough no longer rises and has lost its stretch. Rub the dough between your hands onto a tray covered with parchment paper so that it forms small pieces. Cover the tray with cheesecloth or other protective mesh and leave to dry in a cool, well ventilated place. As it dries, break the dough into smaller pieces eventually crumbling it as small as you can. When it is completely dry (a week or more) pulverize in a blender, a little at a time. Store in freezer bags or large jars. Store in a cool place or refrigerate. May be kept up to twelve months.
- To make tarhana soup, mix 1 cup of the dried dough mix with 3 cups of water or meat stock. Mix with a wooden spoon until softened. Add more water or stock to make a thickish soup with a creamy consistency. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Pour into bowls and garnish with croûtons, parsley, or paprika-infused butter or olive oil, if desired. Serve with Turkish bread or a crisp baguette.
Notes, tips and variations
- Do not use pasteurized yogurt. The live yogurt culture helps prevent contamination by harmful organisms.
- The yogurt and yeast may be replaced with 1 pint of kefir, which supplies both the bacteria and yeasts for the fermentation. Some traditional recipes for tarhana refer to kefir as "soured milk".
- All utensils, and containers should be sterilized with boiling water before use. Wash your hands each time before handling the dough directly.