As some of you will know, half of me is of Turkish-Cypriot descent, (thank you Mama for for the wiry hair that grows out, rather than down and the junk’s junk in my trunk). I love baking, but want to embrace my Cypriot roots a little more and indulge in a little cook-up of some of my favourite comfort foods. Today is Çorba (pronounced “chor-ba”), which essentially means ‘soup’. Specifically for me… chicken soup.
Turkish soups are less about being creamy and more about being a flavoursome stock. This won’t be a Campbell’s or Heinz look-a-like by any means.
The history of my family’s cooking is linked to a time when money wasn’t exactly rife, but family was everything and so was food! The Turkish food I have grown up with is all about comfort and flavour. (In addition, as a head’s up if you’re a follower of ‘Slimming World’, this is a syn free recipe).
The greatest and potentially most annoying thing (for those trying to follow), about how I’ve been taught to cook? It’s all a handful of this and eyeballing ‘measures’… so essentially, your version will be just that, it will belong to you! It will taste great though. Promise.
- A small/medium chicken
- Fresh, flat-leaf parsley
- Half of a whole garlic
- 1/2 Onion
- Pepper flakes
- Sumac (this is a lemony spice from the Med. The juice of half of a lemon will suffice.)
- Tomato puree
- Salt & pepper to taste
I prepare mine in a slow cooker, but you can do this in a deep pan on the stove too…
- Place the chicken in the slow cooker / pan and sprinkle the pepper flakes and sumac over the top (I’d say a decent ‘pinch’ of both…)
- Next cover the chicken with cold water so that it is just covered (i.e. not completely drowned)!
- Dice the onion (or cheat and buy them pre-cut… like me) & slice the garlic in half (horizontally so that you have ‘access’ to each clove). Place in the water (yup, stalk and all with the garlic), in to the cooker / pan.
- Add the flat leaf parsley – personal preference here… sorry…
- Leave the chicken on low for 6-8 hrs.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and remove the skin from the chicken and then pull the chicken from the bone and shred back in to the stock in the pan.
- Squeeze 2 tablespoons of tomato puree in to the mix and stir in.
- Finally, add two thirds of a 500g bag of Orzo in to the pan and return to the heat for a further 30 mins.
Enjoy! (I know I will)