Turkish Yogurt Soup


Turkish Yogurt and Chicken Soup with Garlic-Paprika Butter
Serves 4-6

1 cup water

½ cup long grain rice, any variety

One quart (4 cups) chicken broth

2 cups plain yogurt, whole or low fat (do not use nonfat)

Zest and juice of a lemon; a Microplane does a great job of zesting citrus fruit

2 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons flour (for a gluten free version, substitute rice flour or cornstarch)

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup packed cooked chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken or poached chicken breast half (recipe below)

2 tablespoons dried mint

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste, using a pinch of kosher salt and scraping with chef knife

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground sumac

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Optional: 2 tablespoons finely sliced fresh mint, for garnish

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, cover and cook over low heat until barely tender, about 15 minute. (Rice may be cooked up to two days ahead; refrigerate.)
In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer over moderately high heat. Add cooked rice, chickpeas and cooked chicken breast.
In a medium bowl whisk the yogurt with the lemon juice, zest, egg yolks and flour. Slowly add a ladle full of broth to yogurt mixture. Gradually stir yogurt mixture in broth; bring back to a simmer over low heat, stirring. Season with salt and pepper, to taste; keep warm over low heat.
Make soup topping: Melt the butter in a small skillet. Add olive oil, the garlic, paprika, sumac and cayenne and cook over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in the garlic butter. Garnish with fresh mint; optional. The soup will keep refrigerated for up to three days.
Poached Chicken Breast
Place chicken in a medium saucepan just large enough to hold chicken; add enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a bare simmer; 15-20 minutes. Internal temperature 165 degrees on instant read thermometer. Once cool enough to handle, shred chicken by hand. (May be made up to 3 days ahead; refrigerate, stored, in the poaching liquid.)