Hot yoghurt soup with chicken threads and corn

Hot yoghurt soup with chicken threads and corn

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

Versions of creamy hot yoghurt soup can be found across the Middle East. At their simplest, they may be flavoured with dried mint and thickened with rice, chickpeas, burgul or barley, while other more complex versions include stuffed dumplings. We add sweet corn kernels and threads of chicken to this recipe to make it more substantial.


Quantity Ingredient
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 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
1.5 litres good-quality chicken stock
100g short-grain rice
1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
500g thick natural yoghurt
2 teaspoons cornflour
60ml water
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
40g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dried mint
dried red pepper flakes, to serve (optional)


  1. Put the chicken, vegetables, lemon, herbs, cinnamon, peppercorns and stock into a large, heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil, skimming away any 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.
  2. Pull the chicken meat off the bone and shred it as finely as you can. Set aside 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, or until the rice has broken down and begun to thicken the soup. Add the corn kernels.
  3. To stabilise the yoghurt, beat it in a large bowl until smooth. Mix the cornflour with the water, then stir it thoroughly into the yoghurt with the egg. Gently stir a spoonful of the hot soup into the yoghurt 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.
  4. 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.
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