The weather has drastically changed. The temperature has dropped, that beautiful blue sky is now overcast and downright grey. Time to wear socks and forget about France!
All summer long, nary a thought of soup entered my head. Not even a cold soup as I don’t care for cold soups. But all of a sudden, here we are and honestly the first thing that I feel like is a good hearty soup.
I have just acquired a new cookbook: it is called Bulgurun Halleri or ‘Ways with Bulgur’, written by “>Nursen Doğan (in Turkish) along with Refika. As many of you may know by now, Refika (Birgül) has been most generous in letting me use her fabulous funky kitchen to give cooking classes. I didn’t know about this book until the other week when I saw it there and bought it on the spot.
I am very fond of bulgur, I truly am. I prefer it to rice: it isn’t so stodgy nor so demanding in terms of how to cook it. I know I am going to like this book, I have already made one of the pilafs. I skimmed through it looking for a soup and sure enough, here is one that made me think, ahaa!
But for those of us who live here and for whom this grain is easily available, I recommend using it. I like the fact that it keeps its shape and texture throughout the cooking and doesn’t become mushy like rice so easily does. I also appreciate the fact that the consistency of the soup changes if the soup waits a while before being eaten: it thickens but doesn’t become glutinous. I like that.
So here is the recipe for this healthy yogurt-based soup which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did. Nursen says in her experience this is a firm favourite with foreigners and Turks alike!
- Wash the aşure wheat and place it with the chicken breast in a saucepan with the cold water. Add salt and cook until the wheat grains have cooked (about 30 minutes). If necessary, add more water. Remove the chicken and shred before replacing in the saucepan.
- Put the yogurt in a bowl and add the egg yolk and cornstarch. Mix well.
- Then little by little, add the hot liquid, stirring all the time otherwise the yogurt will curdle.
- Continue until the liquid with the grains and shredded chicken has been well incorporated into the yogurt mixture. If the soup is too thick, add a little more water.
- Spinach or another green may be added at this point.
- Cook gently for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a small pan and add the dried mint. Drizzle over each serving. (I didn’t use the butter! But I did add a few red pepper flakes).