REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

Soups

TURKISH VEGETARIAN COOKING

SOUPS

Rice is a very important ingredient in Turkish soups. However it must be cooked to a mush if it's going to be pleasing to the palate. The Yogurt and Rice Soup would be the Turkish version of the "Chicken Soup", I consider it a panacea for a mild depression, a heavy cold or an upset stomach. The yogurt used if made at home is naturally a hundred percent improvement. Dried or fresh mint is an absolute must for this soup, and if you are going to drink this soup as a medication you must omit the butter of course.

When you prepare the dark lentil soup be sure to have dried or fresh mint also because without it, I think it would have no glamour whatsoever. Good grape vinegar is also a must for this lentil soup as well as the flour soup. It seems we Turks like our soups usually a little on the sour side, since almost all of them require some vinegar or fresh lemon juice.

1. HOW TO MAKE YOGURT AT HOME:

Yogurt does not require an electric gadget really. All you need is a nice warm spot free of draft, a cupboard would do perfectly. Now you always save two or three spoons of yogurt from a previous batch. This is your starter. If you are to make yogurt for the first time naturally you would use a few tablespoons of store - bought yogurt as a starter. Then the starter is mixed well and gradually a few tablespoons of the milk is added to it so that it becomes warmer (it would be well to take the starter out of the refrigerator as it needs to be at room temperature). When the starter is mixed with, let's say four or five tablespoons of the hot milk, it is poured into the milk and stirred quite well. Then the plate or cover of the bowl is put on and then all the old sweaters or towels nicely patted is its place. The yogurt is put to sleep for at least hours. We always put our yogurt to sleep about the same time we went to sleep In the morning you must not forget to take off all the covers and put it an a cold place, the refrigerator preferably of course - or your yogurt will go sour!