Soup | Vegetable

Turkish Ancient Soup Tarhana

Turn Veggies Into A Fermented Soup With TARHANA & Use Year Long!

Tarhana is a very famous ancient recipe in Turkey. It is a dry fermented soup mix made with tomatoes, peppers, onions, fresh herbs and more.

After you make the dough you ferment it for 10 to 15 days depending on the weather and how sour you want it to be. Then it is dried and made it a grainy powder. If you dry it perfectly, you can enjoy it a year long.

Fermented Tarhana dough spread onto a table cloth to dry

There are many versions of Tarhana throughout the Anatolia, with or without vegetables, with different grains, using milk and other spices. Also, there are creamy versions too that you can keep in the refrigerator or even freezer. In this version, I am going to cook the veggies get the juice our so it will be more nutritious in veggies and with less flour.

Ingredients for fermented tarhana dough

  • 1 kg. sweet red pepper
  • 1+1/2 kg tomatoes (try to buy the kinds that have most flesh)
  • 1/2 kg. sweet green pepper
  • 300gr. cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 kg. thick plain yogurt
  • 1kg. onion
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 bunch of mint (you can add dill too)
  • 2 tbsp Boy otu (fenugreek)
  • About 2kg to 2+1/2 kg. flour
  • clean table cloth
  • food processor or strainer in different sizes
Drying the tarhana dough

how to make tarhana

  1. Peel and cut the onions to four. Take the seed and stem of the red peppers and cut it roughly. Also, cut the green pepper.
  2. Add everything to a big pot with half a cup of water and begin to cook lid closed.
  3. Meanwhile, clean the tomatoes and cut them in four and add it on top of the peppers. Some recipes use fresh vegetables. I will also try and share that one but in this method, you will get rid of many of the juice of the vegetables and we are not going to need to add too much flour.
  4. Drain the cooked vegetables from their juice (don’t throw away the juice yet) and puree with a hand blender or food processor and put it back to the pot.
  5. Puree the cooked chickpeas, mint, and add it to the mixture. If you can find “umbrella dill” tarakdalı in English, you can add that too.
  6. Add two tbsp salt and hot red pepper flakes along with yogurt and mix everything.
  7. Now by adding flour to our wet mixture we will make the Tarhana dough. If you have a sourdough starter you can add it at this point to introduce a healthy bacteria to your dough. This way when it is fermented it will be healthier.
  8. Agg more flour until you have a sticky dough that you cannot mix it with a wooden spoon anymore. Cover and let it rise until the next day. It is better to use bigger pan to prevent spill out the dough after it rises.
  9. Check two times a day, and stir it until it ferments and have a sour nice smell coming. I added my fenugreek the next day to the mixture. You can add different fresh greens or herbs too.
  10. Fermenting takes about 10 to 15 days to depend on the weather (hot weather makes it easier to ferment).
  11. At this point you can portion it and keep them in the freezer or fridge, drizzling oil on top or dry it:
Dried Tarhana

How to Dry Tarhana Dough

  1. Spread cotton or breathable cotton-like old clean tablecloth to your table where you don’t have to use it for a couple of days.
  2. Spoon the mixture like a pancake on to the tablecloth until all of it finished. Let them dry preferably in an airy hot place, without direct sunlight (It washes off the color of the tarhana) From time to time turn over the tarhana pancakes :). After a day or two, you will be able to break it in pieces and continue to dry.
  3. Before processing the tarhana with a food processor it should be dry enough to not form a dough again. Also, be careful not to over-dry so you can process it easily.
  4. Process the tarhana in batches and spread it to a tray to let it dry completely. It is recommended to store in a breathable cotton bag but I put it in a jar and keep it in the fridge for up to a year or little more than that.

This “Lentil Soup” is one of our national dish, so popular in Turkish cuisine: Turkish Lentil Soup “Mercimek Corbasi”

You might like this easy cold soup too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwTn1nqgV7o

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