My feet don’t seem to have touched the ground these last two weeks what with a photography course, walks, and everything else! Oh yes, we also had the big snow, the worst in 28 years here in Istanbul,followed by some beautiful mild days that made us think that maybe, just maybe, spring is just around the corner.
But today was chilly again and this time it was TT’s turn to feel under the weather. I had to go out but luckily I had made this old family favourite of a soup yesterday and it’s one of those that just gets better and better if left to its own devices in the fridge for a day or two.
It’s an authentic Turkish recipe along with lentil, Ezo Gelin and Yayla. I had actually quite forgotten all about it, you know how one does …it appeared regularly on the menu when the children were little but less so now, for some reason. (Click here for an earlier version). Children love the little round meatballs in this soup because they look ‘prickly’ with the protruding grains of rice. But now I’ve ‘remembered’ this recipe, I will definitely be making it again soon as it’s appetising and warming.
The key word is ‘ekşili‘ coming from ‘ekşi’ which means ‘sour’. Here it refers to the tangy blend of lemon juice with the yolk of one egg: you mix them together and then carefully incorporate into the hot soup. Then it gently cooks and thickens, adding both colour, consistency and of course taste. This mix of egg and lemon is also referred to as ‘terbiye‘.
- Put the ground beef in a large bowl with the onion, rice, salt and black pepper and mix well. Roll into small balls and place on a floured tray. Shake the tray so that they all become covered in the flour.
- Place all the chopped vegetables in the 8 cups of water and add the salt. Bring to the boil, add the floured meatballs and then the cooking oil to the water. Gently boil for 20 minutes.
- Place the egg yolk in a small bowl and beat in the lemon juice. Carefully add one ladle of the hot liquid to the mixture and stir well to avoid curdling. Then add this mixture to the saucepan and stir. Boil for 10 more minutes.
- Stir in the chopped parsley.
- Let the soup rest for 10 minutes before serving.