Time to face the facts. I’m gonna pick you up and run you straight into a giant, nourishing bowl of steaming Yayla Corbasi! This classic yoghurt-based soup from Turkey is all yours, gluten-free, vegan, in all of its comfort food glory. Simply follow this easy-as-heck recipe that requires so few ingredients, that you probably already have ‘em on hand.
Yayla Corbasi, aka ”Plateau Soup,” is said to have earned its name due to its popularity among shepherds who roamed Anatolia’s picturesque plateaus. With its hearty, simple ingredients and soul-warming essence, the soup provided sustenance and comfort to those traversing the highlands, earning its place as a culinary companion to the rugged terrain.
Much like Turkey’s revered Ezogelin Corbasi (Turkish red lentil soup), Yayla Corbasi is a soup that delivers deep soothing flavor and nourishment with very few ingredients, and like Lahana Sarma, one of those ingredients is dried mint. I like to garnish the soup with a little fresh mint too, so you get both dimensions of mint flavor.
Let Yayla Corbasi be your gateway to the flavors and food culture of Anatolia. My family and I spent time there years ago, and we still treasure the pottery and culinary ideas we picked up. Turkish cuisine for the win!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
✊Vegan AF: Of course, you can use whatever kind of yogurt you like, but my goal in crafting recipes is to cause no harm to animals and to live a low-impact, healthy and sustainable life. I love almond milk yogurt, and use it in everything from Vegan Butter Chicken to Labneh!
🤌Tiny Number of Ingredients: Crafted with a handful of thoughtfully chosen ingredients, this recipe is a celebration of health and flavor. Not only is it gluten-free, but it also doubles as a comforting remedy soup to soothe you when under the weather.
😻Quick as a Cat From stove to table, the lightning-fast preparation ensures you’ll soon be savoring a warm bowl of soup, without having wrecked your kitchen and burnt down your entire house or whatever!
✅Tested and Approved Worldwide Like all of the recipes on my blog, this Yayla Corbasi recipe isn’t just another culinary experiment. Aside from my personal testing and tweaking, this recipe has undergone meticulous testing by a team of dedicated recipe testers from all around the world. It’s a recipe that has been fine-tuned to perfection and has been given the thumbs up by cooks all around Turkey, and the planet.
🍚 Notable ingredients and substitutions
Rice, or Pirinç in Turkish, is part of the reliable foundation of Yayla Corbasi. Opt for white rice for faster cooking time, or brown rice for more fiber, minerals, and satisfying chew. Quinoa, millet or bulgur work in place of rice if you don’t have any on hand.
Bitkisel Yoğurt (“vegetable” yogurt) imparts a slightly sour creaminess to this vegan Yayla Corbasi. I adore using unsweetened almond milk yogurt, particularly Kite Hill brand, if you can get your hands on it. It’s my suggestion to use Kite Hill’s regular yogurt, not their vegan Greek Yogurt, which I find has a kind of gloopy consistency. However, feel free to embrace your yogurt of choice, just keep it unsweetened for sure!
Dried mint, or Kurutulmuş Nane, graces Yayla Corbasi with its distinctive aroma and flavor. A pinch of dried mint transforms the soup into a fragrant masterpiece, infusing each spoonful with a burst of coolness. Substitutions: Fresh mint leaves, though different/less intense in flavor, can be used if you don’t have dried mint.
White pepper, or Beyaz Biber is EVEN BETTER than Justin Biber…. Unlike its black counterpart, white pepper won’t visually disrupt the soup’s pristine appearance. Its gentle kick amplifies the overall flavor profile, elevating the taste experience with a touch of sophistication. But yeah, if you don’t have it, you can totes use black pepper, if you don’t mind the speckled appearance.
Here are a few classic variations of Turkish Yogurt Soup you might wanna mess with:
1. Yayla Corbasi with Chickpeas (Nohutlu Yayla Corbasi): In this variation, hearty chickpeas join the party, infusing the soup with an extra layer of protein and texture. You can simply stir in a drained and rinsed 15 oz. (425 g.) can of chickpeas to the soup before you portion and garnish it. If you need to use a bigger can of chickpeas, you can use the rest to make my chana masala!
2. Yayla Corbasi with Herbs (Otlu Yayla Corbasi): This variation introduces a medley of finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, dill, and chives, elevating the soup’s flavor profile with a burst of aromatic freshness. Stir the fresh chopped herbs into the soup towards the end of cooking according to your taste. This version goes great with a heavier tasting dish like fellah köftesi!
3. Yayla Corbasi with Barley (Arpalı Yayla Corbasi): A rustic twist on the classic Turkish soup, this variation features the hearty goodness of chewy, nutty barley grains. Use ⅓ cup of barley in place of or in addition to the rice in the recipe.
4. Yayla Corbasi with Rice Vermicelli (Şehriyeli Yayla Corbasi): This variation introduces delicate rice vermicelli, also known as “şehriye.” As they do in Moroccan Harira, the slender noodles soak up the flavor of the soup and diversify the proteins and carbs.
I’m gonna save you the humiliation of having this dish not come out perfectly, forcing you to order delivery pizza for dinner in utter shame. Here are a ton of tips, showing you each step like a book of spells you found in your wizard uncle’s enchanted trailer park. Or you can totally just skip to the easy-to-print recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.
Give your rice a good rinse under cool running water until it’s clean and free of extra starch. This gives the soup a better texture.
Add the rinsed rice and 4 ¼ cups of water to a soup pot or dutch oven. Set the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat to low, tuck a lid on top, and cook for 25 minutes. Your mission? Tender, fully cooked rice.
In a bowl, whisk together the plant-based yogurt, white rice flour, white pepper, lemon juice, and salt.
Gradually pour your creamy yogurt mixture into the pot of cooked rice. Let the soup simmer over low heat for about 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the vegan butter in a small pan over low heat. When the butter is melted, stir in crushed dried mint and continue to cook for about a minute until fragrant.
Drizzle with the mint-infused vegan butter, and garnish with fresh mint leaves and optionally dash of paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, or lemon zest. Serve with Turkish runner beans or soslu patlican!
This soup goes with tons of other Turkish, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes!
🥙Sandwich time? Oyster Mushroom Shawarma or Vegan Kofta with Tzatziki on freshly made pita bread drenched in tahini and shatta sauce with a bowl of Turkish yoghurt soup on the side, ya silly head, you!
Rice Rinse Ritual: Give the rice a thorough rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. This step removes excess starch, preventing a gluey textured soup.
Gentle Simmer: While cooking the rice and later simmering the soup, opt for a low heat setting. Gentle simmering prevents overcooking and curdling.
"Yayla Corbasi" translates to "Plateau Soup" in English. It's pronounced as "YAI-lah CHOR-bah-suh."
YES, and it works great! I made this recipe with white rice flour because then it is completely gluten-free and less inflammatory (since some people will make this soup as a remedy when feeling ill). Feel free to use regular all-purpose flour in place of the rice flour if you like.
While freezing might seem tempting, I advise against it for this particular recipe. Freezing and thawing can make the yogurt-based broth get a little mealy and less magical.
✌️See ya later, ‘frigerator
Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before storing. Hot soup in a sealed container can lead to condensation, affecting the texture.
Refrigeration: Transfer your Yayla Corbasi into an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
🔥 Stovetop Reheating
Pour your desired portion of Yayla Corbasi into a saucepan.
Heat over low to medium heat, stirring gently until the soup is heated through. Avoid high heat to prevent curdling. Freshly garnish the soup when serving it.
☢️ Microwave Reheating
Transfer a portion of the soup into a microwave-safe bowl.
Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plate to prevent splatters.
Reheat the soup in short intervals, stirring in between, until it reaches your preferred temperature. Remember to use low to medium heat settings to avoid unwanted changes in texture. Freshly garnish the soup when serving it.
✌️You might really wanna make these too.
These are some of my favey dishes to serve with yalya corbasi:
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Yayla Corbasi (Easy Turkish yogurt soup with mint)
- Fresh mint leaves
- Paprika or crushed red pepper flakes
- Lemon zest
- Rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water, then drain.
- In a large pot, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and cooked.
- In a bowl, whisk together the plant-based yogurt, white rice flour, white pepper, lemon juice, and salt until smooth.
- Gradually pour the yogurt mixture into the cooked rice while continuously stirring. Cook over low heat for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup will thicken and develop a creamy consistency.
- While the soup simmers, in a separate small saucepan, melt the vegan butter over low heat. Add the crushed dried mint and sauté for a minute or until fragrant.
- Portion the soup into individual bowls before drizzling the portions with the mint-infused vegan butter.
- Garnish each serving with fresh mint leaves, and either a sprinkle of paprika, some red pepper flakes, or lemon zest.