Hot Yogurt Soup with Chicken Threads and Corn

"Versions of creamy hot yogurt woup can be found across Turkey, and it's thought to have originated with the nomadic herdsmen that settled in Anatolia a thousand years ago. At its simplest, it is flavored with dried mint and may be thickened with rice, chickpeas, bulgur, or barley. For this recipe I add sweet corn kernels and threads of chicken to make it more substantial."
From Turquoise - Greg Malouf

1-1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 large chicken breast on the bone
1 small onion, cut into quarters
1 stick celery
1/2 lemon
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
1 small stick cinnamon
1/2 t. peppercorns
4 oz. short-grain rice
1/2 c. sweet corn kernels
1 lb. Greek yogurt
2 t. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1 egg, lightly beaten
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 oz unsalted butter
1 T. dried mint-dried red pepper flakes to serve (optional)
>>Make It
Put the chicken, vegetables, lemon, herbs cinnamon, peppercorns, and stock into a large, heavy-based saucepan. Bring to a boil, skimming away and fat and impurities that rise to the surface, then lower the heat immediately. Simmer very gently, covered, for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the chicken in the stock for 20 minutes.
     Pull the chicken meat off the bone and shred it as finely as you can. Reserve for later. Strain the stock into a large, heavy-based saucepan. then add the rice and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer gently, covered, for 30 minutes until the rice has broken down and begun to thicken the soup. Add the corn kernels.
     To stabilize the yogurt, neat it in a large bowl until smooth. Mix the cornstarch with the water, then stir it thoroughly into the yogurt with the egg. Gently stir a spoonful of the to soup into the yogurt mixture, then pour this back into the barely simmering soup. Cook at a bare simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring in one direction only. Be sure not to let the soup boil or the mixture will curdle.
     When ready to serve, add the shredded chicken to the soup and season with salt and pepper, then ladle the soup into warmed serving bowls. Quickly sizzle the butter in a small frying pan, then add the mint and heat until foaming. Swirl the sizzling butter into each bowl of soup, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if using, and serve.

Serves 6-8

I love this book. It is definitely worth buying. Along with the recipes, there are many brightly-colored images of life in Turkey. I'm really enjoying reading through it right now.

Soup was perfect for tonight because of all the CRISP, FALL WEATHER we've been having!! I love the way it turned out and I'm planning on making it again soon. The "yogurty" taste really shines through.

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