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Grandma's Stone Soup

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It was the first visit of my grandma after I was born..

As she lived abroad, she couldn’t find an earlier chance to see her granddaughter. So, I had grown enough to appreciate the fantastic dolls and toys she brought with her. .

Two things remained in my memory from this visit: A big Mickey Mouse with a broad smile on his face  and a soup, which we all loved and  called it  ‘grandma’s soup’. However, when I later read the tale of ‘Stone Soup’ , ‘a-ha!’ I said to myself, ‘this must be my grandma’s soup!’ Yes, it was..

In the Central Anatolia town we lived, all you could give to a hungry stranger knocking on your door on a winter day for something to make some soup was what you could find in your cellar ( in reality, a hungry stranger is invited in for a meal): flour, legumes, rice,  erişte  (home-made pasta), bulgur ( wheat boiled first and crashed into granules), and sun-dried vegetables,  ( other material: dried fruits,  pekmez, tomato paste, tarhana) and..and? this was all, except for butter and cheese, and some fried meat if you are not poor..

In those years, irrigation facilities were limited, the winters were harsh, so people had to depend on what they kept in stock..

We didn’t have the habit of stocking food, we were an urban family. Maybe because of that, the idea behind my grandma’s soup was a total surprise to all of us..

Rice and pasta, together, huh? And beans and green lentils, together? Well, this is the secret..

Actually I don’t remember what other components of the soup were, as my imagination changed them over time..

Whenever I wanted to cook something at home and couldn’t find much in stock, I tried a ‘grandma’s stone soup’..

I tried different combinations of pasta or erişte, rice and bulgur. Depending on the other material, I mean, peppers ,onions, etc, sometimes more pasta/erişte gave a better flavour, yet sometimes more bulgur..

Rice shouldn’t say the ‘final word’ here, it should remain as the secret hero..

Instead of pasta you can use erişte: the flavour of erişte is slightly different than pasta, because, its dough includes eggs, and, unlike pasta, which is made of durum wheat, erişte is made of ordinary wheat’s flour. Without any beans, only green lentils, mixed with this list of material, with or without tomato paste will make a good winter soup of this culture. If you add beans, you ‘ll have a more typical winter soup..

Dried vegetables depend on you: I prefer peppers..

As most of the components are starch based, the soup will have a sweet flavour, so you can add carrots, too..

If you have not tried yet, bulgur goes well with many soups. In particular if you want a thicker  soup which is also richer in flavour..

It goes well with vegetables, meat, even with other wheat products like itself..

If you ever tried ‘ezogelin soup’ at restaurants and liked it, it is just another version of  the winter-stone soup..

Use red lentils instead of green ones, don’t use pasta or erişte, only rice and bulgur, and, add onions and garlic, tomato paste, some spices (red and blackpepper, mint),  you’ll have an ezogelin çorbası..

Ok, the measures are: red lentils: 1 tea cup , rice: 1 tablespoon or less, bulgur: 1 tablespoon, onion: a small one is enough, garlic: a small amount, depending on your choice, tomato paste: 1 tablespoon. Flour: 2 tablespoons Butter: 1 tablespoon or a little more, Water: 8 tea cups. Red pepper, blackpepper and mint.

Fry onions an garlic together, add lentils, bulgur and rice, stir them for a few minutes, put some water and let them boil, when they become smooth enough, put the flour with butter in another pan and fry the flour a little, then add tomato paste, mix it with flour while stirring, add hot water and  spices. When boiled, add the content of the other pan and let them boil until lentils are cooked enough.

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:D What did you expect?

Tas means bowl..but  small bowls for serving soup, etc are called 'kase'

A tas kebabı or bowl kebab is called so because, after meat, onions, garlic ,tomato paste and spices are mixed and cooked until the meat is fried enough, (meat is fried first,  then onion and garlic and finally tomato paste is added) the meat in the pot is covered with a bowl and water is added . So meat is not directly cooked in water..(there are varities with potato or other stuff). But the word 'tas kebabı' is used by ordinary restaurants only for meat cooked with potato and spices...

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