Turkish-Style Yoghurt Soup with Chicken and Wild Rice

This rich chicken soup contains yoghurt and shredded chicken for protein, hearty wild rice and a delicious paprika garlic butter. I first tried this at one of my local Turkish restaurants. I loved it, and knew I had to learn to make it myself. It’s such an easy soup to make. Great for lunches, or when you’re feeling under the weather, and it also makes an impressive starter.

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Key Ingredients

(see below for full list of ingredients)

  • Chicken Fillets and Chicken Stock: The base of the soup is chicken stock. The shredded chicken meat makes it more fulfilling.
  • Egg Yolk and Yoghurt: Add a slight thickness and creaminess to the soup, though it’s not as creamy as most british soups which normally contain cream. The yoghurt also adds a slight tanginess which works well with the paprika and garlic.
  • Wild Rice: The rice gives this soup more substance and makes it really hearty. Traditional recipes use white rice however, I use wild rice in my version as it has a slight nutty flavour that balances well with the rest of the soup flavours.
  • Paprika Garlic Butter: Think of this as a soup garnish, but it gives the soup flavours more of a wow factor and adds a lovely red/orange colour to the soup.

How To Make Turkish-Style Yoghurt Soup with Chicken and Wild Rice

Step One: In a small saucepan bring 240 ml water to the boil. Add in 90 g wild rice and lower the heat. Simmer with the lid on for around 50 minutes until the rice is cooked.

Step Two: In the meantime add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large saucepan on a medium heat add one medium onion diced and cook for around 5 minutes until softened.

Step Three: Add in one carrot diced and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Step Four: Add in 500 g chicken thigh or breast fillets, along with 1 litre chicken stock, and simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Step Five: Drain and remove the chicken fillets. Use two forks to pull the meat apart so that it is shredded. Set aside.

Step Six: Strain the chicken stock. Discard the carrot and onion.

Step Seven: In a large bowl add in 240 ml plain yoghurt, one egg yolk and 2 tbsp plain flour. Whisk together until smooth.

Step Eight: Spoon the chicken stock into the yoghurt-egg yolk-flour mixture around 2 tablespoonfuls at a time to begin with and whisk thoroughly. Gradually add in more and more stock until all the stock has been incorporated. Really go slow with this step so that the egg doesn’t curdle.

Step Nine: Add this mixture back into the saucepan along with the shredded chicken and cooked wild rice. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Step Ten: Make the paprika garlic butter. In a small frying pan heat 2 tbsp unsalted butter over a medium-low heat. Add in 3 cloves garlic crushed, 2 tsp paprika and 0.25 tsp cayenne pepper. Fry for around 3 minutes until the garlic starts to go brown.

Step Eleven: Either add the paprika garlic butter mixture to the rest of the soup and stir in, or dish the soup into four bowls and drizzle decoratively with the paprika garlic butter.

How To Serve Turkish-Style Yoghurt Soup with Chicken and Wild Rice

  • This can be eaten as a meal on its own.
  • You can also serve this with crusty bread.

Tips for Making Turkish-Style Yoghurt Soup with Chicken and Wild Rice

  • You can substitute white rice (basmati or long grain) for wild rice. In fact this is a great dish for using up leftover cooked rice.
  • You can also substitute the chicken fillets with cooked chicken (like left over roast chicken), just add the cooked chicken in at the end with the rice.
  • Be sure to add the stock to the yoghurt-egg yolk-flour mixture very gradually to prevent the egg from curdling. Really be patient with this step – it’s totally worth it.
  • You can also make this dairy free by substituting the yoghurt with oatgurt, and you can substitute the butter with olive oil.
  • If making this as a cold and flu remedy add in an additional 2 crushed cloves of garlic at Step Four when the stock is added to the pan.

Turkish-Style Yoghurt Soup with Chicken and Wild Rice Recipe


Serves:
4
Preparation Time:
10 minutes
Cooking Time:
55 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 240 ml water
  • 90 g wild rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 500 g skinless and boneless chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 240 ml plain yoghurt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 0.25 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Bring the water to the boil, add in the rice, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice with the lid on for 50 minutes.
  2. In the meantime add the olive oil to a large saucepan and heat on a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for around 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the carrot and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the chicken and the stock. Cover with lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken fillets and use two forks to pull the chicken apart shredding the meat.
  6. Strain the stock. Discard the onions and carrot.
  7. In a large bowl add the yoghurt, egg white and flour, and whisk well until smooth.
  8. Spoon a little stock into the yoghurt-egg-flour mixture and whisk. Gradually add in more and more stock whisking well until the mixture becomes more liquid and all the stock is incorporated.
  9. Add this back into the saucepan with the shredded chicken and cooked rice, and place on a low heat to simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  10. Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted add in the garlic, followed by the paprika and cayenne pepper.
  11. Add this paprika garlic butter mixture to the rest of the soup. Stir and serve.

Special Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop Soup is a must when I eat out at a Chinese restaurant. That thick, clear soup normally with chicken and sweetcorn or seafood and ribbons of egg is my go to starter. It’s surprisingly easy to make.

Since I’ve learned to make it at home I’ve found that it’s perfect for cold and flu season. My version contains a mix of chicken, king prawns, shitake mushrooms, pak choi and ginger, so it’s packed full of protein and essential virus fighting nutrients.

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Special Egg Drop Soup Recipe

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Baking/Cooking Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the fried garlic garnish:

  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped

For the soup:

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm piece garlic finely chopped
  • 375 g chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 80 g frozen Sweet corn
  • 165 g prawns
  • shitake mushrooms sliced
  • pak choi sliced
  • 1.5 tsp shioxing rice wine
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 4 spring onions finely sliced for garnish

METHOD

  1. Fry the chopped garlic until golden. Pace in a metal sieve placed on a plate with kitchen roll to absorb the oil.
  2. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger until soft. Add in the chicken and star anise.
  3. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  4. Add the stock to the remaining onion and garlic. Simmer for 7-10 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Strain and add the stock back to pot.
  6. Bring it to a simmer. Add the sweetcorn, prawns, mushrooms, pak choi and chicken. Simmer until prawns are pink.
  7. Add the Shioxing wine and pepper.
  8. Make a cornflour slurry by adding water to the cornflour and mixing well. Add 4-6 tbsp of the soup and mix well before adding the slurry to the rest of the soup. Mix well as the soup thickens.
  9. Drizzle the egg into the soup to make egg ribbons.
  10. Serve in bowls topped with the fried garlic and spring onions.

Arroz Caldo

Arroz Caldo is a Filipino chicken and rice soup or rice porridge. In this dish the chicken is cooked with a sauteed onion, garlic and ginger base before adding in rice, fish sauce and chicken stock. When served the soup is garnished with a boiled egg, spring onion and crunchy toasted garlic. Additional fish sauce and calamansi (a type of citrus fruit that is a hybrid of a kumquat and an orange, native to the Philippines) are also normally at hand to bring the flavours out even more if desired.

In the Philippines this dish is typically eaten during the cooler rainy season days, sometimes as a breakfast dish. However, my mum makes this for my daughter and I when we’re feeling under the weather. It is the ultimate Filipino comfort food.

Some people make this with glutinous rice, but I use basmati rice. I’m not a huge fan of fish sauce so in my version I substitute this with oyster sauce. Calimansi is also difficult to find here in the UK, so I substitute this with lemon instead. For extra depth of flavour I marinade chicken thighs overnight in garlic powder and soy sauce, this gives the chicken a richer brown during the initial browning.


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Arroz Caldo Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes – 12 hours
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 kg skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • thumb sized piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1.5 l chicken stock
  • 200 g basmati rice
  • 1tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 stalks spring onion finely chopped for serving
  • lemon slices for serving
  • boiled eggs for serving
  • fish sauce or additional oyster sauce for serving

METHOD

  1. Marinade the chicken: Cut 2 slashes into each chicken thigh, add them all to a large bowl and combine with the garlic powder and soy sauce. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour or overnight.
  2. Toast the garlic: Add the oil and chopped garlic to a large saucepan. Put over a medium heat and stir as it all heats up. Cook garlic until golden brown. Pour into a metal sieve and place the sieve on a plate lined with kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil.
  3. In the same pan brown the chicken thighs in batches on a high heat for around 5 minutes per side. Then set aside.
  4. In the same pan fry onions on medium heat until soft. Add in the crushed garlic and the ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Add in a little stock and stir well to de-glaze the bottom of the pan. Then add remaining stock, rice and the chicken and stir well. Simmer for 25 mins.
  6. Serve in bowls topped with a boiled egg, spring onion and toasted garlic garnish and a slice of lemon.

NOTES

  • Yes, the fried garlic garnish is a bit of a faff (peeling garlic is so tedious), but it definitely makes this dish pop – the effort is so worth it.
  • Tip: when peeling the garlic slice off the hard end of the clove (where the cloves join together in the bulb) then place the clove under the handle of your knife. Press down firmly on the handle to very slightly crush the clove. This will loosen the skin and make it easier to peel off.