The Delicious Starters
In Turkish cuisine, traditional “çorba” (soup) is an indispensable and delicious way of warming up in winter. Usually preferred just before the main course, Turkish soups can be consumed anytime of the day! They’re made using very healthy ingredients and are served in several variations like mercimek (lentil) soup, yayla soup (Turkish yoğurt soup), şehriye soup, and many more! You’re sure to find one that is perfect for you! Here, we have prepared a list of the 10 most popular traditional Turkish soups - all hold secure places at the very heart of Turkish cuisine!
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Mercimek soup, known as Turkish lentil soup, is one of the most favored traditional soups in Türkiye. It’s a very simple dish requiring only a few ingredients yet its taste is matchless! Lentils are legumes that are very high in fiber, are packed with vitamin B, and a great source of potassium. Mercimek soup is a wonderful source of protein, is gluten-free, and is a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. Its best friend is lemon - a single squeeze will give the soup a wonderful, fresh flavor! Mercimek soup can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a light evening meal after a long day.
Chicken Broth Soup (Tavuk Suyu Çorbası)
Inherited from Ottoman cuisine, traditional chicken broth soup (tavuk suyu çorbası) is another famous soup with countless remedies: for example, it strengthens your immune system and helps fight a cold. Have a bowl and you’ll be up and about in no time! It also contains collagen which is very beneficial for your skin and hair. Another benefit of this tasty soup is that it helps your sleep routine thanks to the amino acid glycine that it contains. In other words, this classic Turkish soup is both nutritious and delicious!
Getting its name from a bride named “Ezo” who successfully impressed her in-laws, ezogelin is a hearty and special soup coming from the southeastern region of Türkiye. Made with red lentils, rice, bulgur, tomato and pepper paste, and an assortment of spices, this traditional soup is a perfect example of the use of spices in Turkish cuisine to add flavor to dishes. It’s a truly authentic Turkish dish that you will want to make at home all the time!
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In the winter months if you happen to catch a cold or the flu, tarhana soup will come to the rescue! This heartwarming soup is highly nutritious and builds up your immune system. Used as a base for the soup’s preparation, tarhana is the fermented mixture of yoğurt, flour, and grated vegetables. It can be regarded as the very first instant soup mix in the world! Make sure to try tarhana soup while you are in Türkiye – it’s guaranteed to delight you!
İşkembe soup is one of the most unique tastes on this list. Just like paça soup, a relative of işkembe, it is made with offal. Though some might be put off at first sight, most people in Türkiye are mad about it! İşkembe soup is enjoyed with the addition of hot chili flakes or garlic. It is a traditional choice for a hangover cure, and goes well with bread, bread, and more bread!
From the Ottoman’s palace to your contemporary table, beyran soup is among Türkiye’s southeastern tastes. Its benefits to your health are too numerous to be counted! Most of all, it benefits those who suffer from respiratory problems. Beyran soup is rich in protein and vitamins. What about breaking your routine for a day? Have beyan soup for breakfast in a lokanta (Turkish restaurant), savor the flavor, and mingle with the locals!
Balık (Fish) Soup
If you believe in “love at first spoonful,” one of the best things to taste is Ottoman-style fish soup. It’s very healthy and contains high quality proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids. Don’t forget to add generous amounts of lemon juice and croutons to multiply your enjoyment.
Made of ingredients like rice, flour, and yoğurt, yayla is a Turkish yoğurt soup. It’s one of the irreplaceable tastes of Anatolian cuisine. Yayla soup is well-respected for its nutritiousness and delicious taste. Served with an added sauce, it is sumptuously creamy and warms you from the inside out!
Refreshing, healthy, and warm… Originating from Adana in Türkiye, yüksük soup is a favorite of locals - especially in winter. The soup gets its name (yüksük is thimble in Turkish) from the shape of the mantı and chickpeas. If you like, you can add tomato paste or yoğurt to it. It is truly extraordinary!
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The best-loved among Türkiye’s traditional soups and the most practical one, şehriye soup is a sweetheart of Turkish cuisine. Orzo, or şehriye as it is known in Türkiye, makes this soup a substantial meal. Served with fresh, crusty bread, this heartwarming soup can become a main course. Its ingredients can be diversified depending on the season and your preferences.