This soup is one of the local specialties of Amasya, a city in the Black Sea region of Turkey. It combines creamy strained yogurt, whole grains, chickpeas, and dried mint, resulting in a light but comforting soup that can be eaten at any meal.
I was lucky enough to spend a few days exploring Amasya in the early summer of 2016. Below you can read a beautiful passage about the city written by Professor of Religion, History, and Humanities (Syracuse University) Alejandro Medina, PhD:
"Like so many cultural sites in Turkey, the beautiful city of Amasya summarizes much of the wondrous history of Anatolia. Located on the Black Sea coast, it was once believed to be the dwelling place of Amasia, Queen of the Amazon warriors. The ancient world is well represented here by the magnificent rock-carved tombs of the kings of Pontus, looming high up the cliffs above the city, but so are other periods of Turkish history as well: from the Byzantine empire, rests of which still surface once in a while from the riverbed of the Yeşilirmak river... through the period of the highest Ottoman splendor, when princes of the royal house used to be stationed here to undergo training in the arts of government before they were required to take over the responsibilities awaiting them in Istanbul... all the way to the foundation of today's Turkish Republic, a multitudinous event in which this city played an important trigger-role with the War of Independence. Visitors are greeted in Amasya by beauty and by deep layers of memory as they climb up to the miradors above the city to enjoy the city's charming layout along the river, strangely reminiscent of a minuscule Florence on the Arno river." - Alejandro Medina, PhD
Makes 6 cups, 1.4 liters (Serves 6, 1 cup per serving)
1 cup plain strained yogurt (250 grams)
2 tablespoons flour (20 grams)
1 egg yolk
5 cups water (~1.15 L)
1/3 cup farro (52 grams) *sub barley or other whole grain of choice
15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed well (425 grams)
1 teaspoon salt (~5 grams)
2 tablespoons butter (28 grams)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried mint
- In a large soup pot, whisk together yogurt, flour, egg yolk, and 1 cup of water. Then add additional 4 cups of water and whisk. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop.
- Add farro then cover pot with lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chickpeas and salt, then cover pot again and cook for additional 10 minutes, or until farro is completely cooked through and chewy.
- Melt butter in small microwave-safe bowl and mix in the dried mint. You can choose to mix this all into the soup while it is still in the large pot, or serve the soup in individual bowls with a drizzle of this minty butter on top to allow your guests to mix it in themselves (as is often done in Turkish restaurants).