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Chicken Soup with Vegetables in lemon & egg sauce – Terbiyeli, Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce; Terbiyeli Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce; Terbiyeli Sebzeli Tavuk Corbasi

Cold winter days call for a warming meal; this delicious chicken and vegetables soup is ideal to turn  the left over bits of vegetables and cooked meat (you can meat omit for a vegetarian option) into a hearty, delicious soup. With nice crusty bread aside, this chunky soup makes a complete meal for us (and just the thing if you have a cold). Soups, Corba as we call in Turkish, have a special place in Turkish cuisine and the meals mostly start with a soup. In Anatolia, it is very common to have soup to start the day, especially in winter.

There is a special technique used in this soup; lemon juice is beaten with egg yolks to thicken the sauce and add a delicious sort of tangy flavor. This method is called “terbiyeli” in Turkish cuisine and it requires a staged tempering of the egg sauce into the hot liquid, so that the soup won’t curdle.

I have used parsnips, celery, carrots, red onion here; you can also use potatoes, regular onion or any other vegetables you like and needs finishing. I hope you enjoy this delicious, nutritious, warming soup.

Healthy, delicious chicken soup with vegetables in lemon & egg sauce

Healthy, delicious chicken soup with vegetables in lemon & egg sauce

Serves 4 – 6

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes                                     Cooking time: 30 minutes

225 gr/8 oz./1 cup cooked (left over) chicken meat, cut in small chunks (you can omit this for a vegetarian option)

75gr/3oz/scant ½ cup long grain rice (plain or basmati, if you prefer), rinsed

1 large red onion, quartered and chopped

3 celery stick, trimmed and coarsely chopped

3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

3 parsnips, peeled and cut in small chunks

Handful of fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley

30 ml/2 tbsp. olive oil

2 lt/ 3 ½ pints/8 cups hot chicken stock (or vegetarian stock, or water)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon & egg sauce:

2 egg yolks, beaten

Juice of 1 lemon

To serve:

Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle when serving (optional)

Turkish red pepper flakes (pul biber) or chili flakes and a wedge of lemon to serve

Crusty bread to serve

Heat the olive oil in a deep heavy pan and stir in the onion, sauté for a few minutes. When the onion begins to color slightly, toss in the celery, carrot and parsnip. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the rinsed rice, giving a good stir. Pour in the hot stock or water and the cooked chicken pieces (if you are using), combine well. Season with salt and freshly grounded black pepper to your taste. Cover and cook over medium to low heat for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked though still have a bite to them.

 Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture and blend well.

Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture and blend well.

Afterwards, in a small bowl, thoroughly blend the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Gently pour in a ladle of the hot soup to the egg mixture for tempering and blend well. Then slowly pour this egg mixture into the simmering pan; stir constantly so that the eggs don’t curdle. Add the chopped parsley and cook the soup very gently on low heat for 3-5 minutes. Do not allow the soup to boil, or it may curdle. Check the seasoning and turn the heat off.

Warming chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce.

Warming chicken and vegetables soup in lemon & egg sauce.

Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over and sprinkle red pepper flakes, pul biber over, if you like. Serve hot with some crusty bread and a wedge of lemon aside.

Afiyet Olsun,



Ozlem’s Turkish Table at the Turkish Chefs of the World, “Dunyanin Turk Sefleri” TV program aired on TRT Turk  TV Channel

Click to view on YouTube.

I was delighted to take part in Dunyanin Turk Sefleri, “Turkish Chefs of the World” TV program on TRT Turk TV Channel.

I was delighted to be involved in the Turkish Chefs of the World, “Dunyanin Turk Sefleri” TV program aired on Turkish National TV, TRT Turk channel (aired over 70 countries) a few weeks ago. The program was shot in major gastronomic centers like New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Vienna, Paris and London, exploring world cuisines and the presence of Turkish cuisine around the world. I was involved in their London program; the presenter and Milliyet food author Mr. Sureyya Uzmez and I talked about the vibrant London food scene and the growing presence of Turkish cuisine abroad. I delightfully mentioned the increasing global interest for the healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine and my admiration for your enthusiasm, dear readers, to learn and tackle many aspects of Turkish cuisine, from baklava to Simit, karniyarik to Turkish Delight and more. The interview is in Turkish but I thought you may still enjoy viewing, here is the YouTube link for the program (my part starts as of 2.30 minutes onwards). Hope you enjoy it!

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Sautéed Carrots in Garlic Yoghurt Sarimsakli, Havuclu Yogurt

Sauteed carrots in olive oil with garlic yoghurt; a delicious, healthy mezze as a dip or by the side of grilled vegetables and meat.

Yoghurt has a special place in Turkish cuisine; some of the finest yoghurt in the world is made in Turkey and is included in some way at most family meal times such as in soups like in Yayla Corbasi, mezzes, marinations for the meat and more. Praised for its health-giving qualities, yoghurt is rich in calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins and has earned a reputation as one of the most valuable health foods. I love Pinar’s Strained Yoghurt, Suzme Yoghurt, which works very well in this recipe. The mild & sweet sautéed carrots go really well with the garlicky yoghurt and make a wonderful dip or a delicious accompaniment to grilled meat and vegetables. You can prepare this mezze ahead of time and keep the left overs in the fridge for the next day.

Serves 4                                   Preparation time: 15 – 20 minutes

3-4 medium carrots, grated

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed in sea salt

450gr/16 oz. / 2 cups natural plain yoghurt – whole milk yoghurt recommended-

30ml/2 tbsp. olive oil

Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve


Sauteeing carrots in olive oil soften them and bring out their natural sweetness.

Heat the olive oil in a wide heavy pan and sauté the grated carrots for 3 -4 minutes, until they are about to soften up, but still a little crunchy. Turn the heat off and leave them to cool aside.

Combine the sautéed carrots into the garlicy yoghurt bowl.

In the meantime, crush the garlic clove in sea salt and stir them into the bowl of yoghurt. When cooled, combine the sautéed carrots into the yoghurt bowl and give a good mix. Stir in the chopped parsley and mix well.

Sauteed carrots in garlic yoghurt; healthy and so delicious as a dip or as an accompaniment to main courses.

My cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland is packed with these wholesome, delicious recipes; Signed copies NOW 30 % OFF at this link, with prompt (worldwide) delivery, including the US – I am told it makes a beautiful gift too.

Turkish Cookery Book

You can serve this wonderful mezze with slices of flat bread, pitta bread or crackers, or with sliced vegetables like celery, broccoli, cawliflower to dip in. It also complements grilled meat and vegetables beautifully.

Afiyet Olsun,


Ready to be back home; Istanbul Here We Come ! : )

Mevlubi; upside down rice with sauteed eggplants, potato and meat; a very special dish from Antakya.

“Ozlem’cigim, Mevlubi’yi hazirlamaya basladim, size dort gozle bekliyoruz” in English, “My dear Ozlem, I am getting the Mevlubi ready, so look forward to seeing you all” says my dear mother warmly over the phone. Mevlubi is a special Antakya style dish, consisting of delicious layers of sautéed aubergine (eggplant), potato, onions, meat and rice, all cooked together, then turned upside down. It looks like one very impressive savory cake, and once it is on the table, you know it is a special occasion and you are there for a treat. Food has always been the focal point in Turkish culture; and cooking for family and friends have been our way of telling them that they are special, that we care for them.

My dear parents, my source of inspiration

What makes a place special for you? In these days, I am full of excitement of going back home, and reflecting on the reasons why my home land, Turkey, is so special for me. Sure, there are the family and friends, that you long to see and they look forward to seeing you. Now that I have my own small children, I cherish every opportunity to go back home, get them know their roots and reconnect, so very special.

The Dolmabahce Palace with its impressive garden is another wonderful site to see in Istanbul.

 Then there are all the amazing sites like the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and more await you; they were there centuries ago, still intact and take your breath away, enrich your soul.

Children of Antakya; sweet, shy, curious but above all very eager to help.

But then there is the spontaneous, unconditional kindness, generosity from the heart that welcomes you at home. Like, while we were in Antakya,  these local children, a little shy, but also curious,  eagerly wanting to show us around and tell the story of the St Peter’s Church.

Hospitality is a big part of Turkish Culture; complimentary food and drink is offered to you all around Turkey.

 Or this vendor selling pine nuts and regional honey in Pergamom, offering us to sample the pine nuts– along with the complimentary cay, Turkish tea!-. Or the abundance of cay offering, as a sign of hospitality, wherever you are; in banks, visiting homes, shops, everywhere!: )

A friendly smile welcomes you in cafes and restaurants, like at the wonderful cafe of Istanbul Culinary Institute.

It is this generosity from the heart, hospitality that really makes home special for me. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of things I greatly wish that would  improve at home – starting from the traffic!- but when I look back, it is this happy memories, time well spent with family and friends, the kindness of people stays with me. That’s all I remember.

Overlooking to the Topkapi Palace from the Sea of Marmara, what a magnificent view.

I hope you keep on making happy memories wherever your destination is and I look forward to be in touch from Istanbul soon!

Happy Travels, Iyi Yolculuklar,



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Mezzes, Kebabs with Pistachios in Cherry Sauce and Many More – 9th February, Saturday, Turkish Cookery Class & Wisley Gardens on the New Year's Day

My best wishes for a happy, healthy and delicious 2013 to you all, I hope you enjoyed the holidays and this post finds you all well.

Turkish cookery classes are fun, friendly and it is a pleasure to share Turkish cuisine and traditions.

I have an exciting Turkish cookery class coming up on February 9th, Saturday, from 10 am to 12 noon at Oatlands Village Hall, Weybridge, Surrey and I wanted to share the details with you. We will have exotic, refreshing flavors, such as the delicious fillo pastry rolls with cheese and parsley filling (Sigara Boregi)Ground Lamb & Beef Kebabs with pistachio in tomato and cherry sauce, over flat bread with roasted vegetables and many more. These are the dishes you can easily re-create in your home after the class to share with family and friends.

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