Turkish Recipes: Şehriyeli Domates Corbası

Anyone who knows Turkey will know that çorba (soup) is a staple of Turkish cuisine, and while there are some Turkish soups that might prove a challenge (I’ve never enjoyed a bowl of brain soup for example), others, such as red lentil soup (kırmızı mercimek çorbası), will be some of the best soups you have ever tasted. Another favourite of ours is good old domates çorbası. Tomato soup was always a favourite while growing up, but that was out of a tin. When we started to make our own tomato soup, that was when it got really good!

This is a simple soup recipe using fresh ingredients from Fethiye market. As we were having it for dinner, we decided to make it more filling by adding şehriye (vermicelli) at the end. This is a common addition to Turkish soups and Turkish rice.

Turkish Recipe For Şehriyeli Domates Çorbası

A quick scan online will reveal many different versions of tomato soup recipes – but this is how we make ours. This recipe makes four large servings, or six if eaten as a starter.

Homemade Chicken Stock

Many Turkish soups are made with chicken stock

First of all, you need a stock; anything from simple hot water to a stock cube to a homemade vegetable, chicken or beef stock.

  • Ours is a very simple stock of water, chicken bones, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Turn the heat high and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
  • Meanwhile, you can move onto your main ingredients.
Turkish Tomato Soup Ingredients

The tomato soup process

These quantities are not hard and fast. The beauty of any soup recipe is that you can add as much or as little as you like of any ingredient and, as you may know from our previous Turkish recipes, we like strong flavours. Our soup recipes, more often than not, contain chillies.

  • Finely chop a large onion and add to a large saucepan with a glug of oil.
  • Grate or crush 3 large cloves of garlic and add that to the pan.
  • At this point, we grate 3 large green or red chillies on the finest setting and add to the pan.
  • Sweat the mixture on a low heat for a few minutes and, meanwhile, grate 4 large tomatoes into a bowl. You don’t need to peel them as most of the skin will be left behind as you grate the flesh.
  • Into the pan, add 4 cubes of butter (about 1 cm cubed) and allow to melt before adding a tablespoon of flour.
  • Stir the mixture so you can see the butter and flour form a paste, and then add the grated tomatoes.
  • Now add 3-4 ladles of whichever stock you are using along with some salt and pepper. Stir, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook for around 20 minutes and then add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (domates salçası) and stir into the soup.

Taste your tomato soup and check the consistency. Add more salça if it’s too thin, more stock if it’s too thick.

Turkish Tomato Soup Recipe

The tomato soup takes on a richness in colour once the salça has been absorbed

If you’re happy with it, remove from the heat, take out the blender and give your soup a good whizz until it’s smooth and creamy. Some people add milk or cream to their soup at this point, but we find the butter and flour that was added earlier is enough richness for us. It’s up to you.

Turkish Tomato Soup With Vermicelli

Vermicelli makes your tomato soup more filling and adds texture

Now, add a good handful of şehriye (vermicelli) to your soup, stir it in and place a lid over the top to keep it warm. The şehriye will cook in around 5 minutes in the heat of the soup. While you are waiting, cut some thick wedges of fresh, crusty bread.

Tomato Soup With Vermicelli

A serving of şehriyeli domates çorbası

Now you’re ready to enjoy your tomato soup. We ate ours last night for dinner and there was just one thing missing: freshly torn basil leaves. Alas, the basil season is still to come, but we’ll definitely be making this şehriyeli domates çorbası again once those tasty, little, green leaves are available.

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  1. Looks so awesomely flavorful! Love this soup.

  2. @ Belinda: We’re big fans of tomato soup too – the colour of it certainly helps. 🙂

  3. Yum!

  4. great recipe! can’t wait to make it. i know i will love this with a good grilled cheese sandwich!

  5. Such a rich stock would make this soup heavenly! I especially love adding vermicelli to it. 🙂

  6. @ Cally: Definitely yum! We’ll be making tomato soup again very soon I think. 🙂

    @ Jaz: Great with cheese. A lot of people in Turkey grate yellow cheese, known as kaşar, into their soup.

    @ Rambling Tart: Yes, a bit naughty having such a rich stock but we thought as were having the soup for dinner, we could treat ourselves a bit. 🙂 The vermicelli definitely made it more filling.

  7. Love the tomato soup here! We just had a version in Konya where they also added shredded chicken to this type of tomato stock. Yum!

  8. I can almost smell the carbo cooking. Nice.

  9. @ Joy: I can’t remember the name of that soup but it’s a traditional Anatolian one. Everyone we speak to loves it. Dying to try it! 🙂

    @ Italian Notes: We’re looking forward to the Italian tomato dishes when we get there, too. 🙂

  10. This soup loks so delicious…can’t wait to try and make it for my Turk husband.
    You are right ‘soup’ is very important for the Turks, I noticed they serve it at almost every meal.

    Have a great day!!!!

  11. @ Erica (Irene): I don’t think we ever ate so much soup since moving to Turkey! I love to eat it at night in the 24 hour places before going home after an evening out. 🙂

  12. Very expertly laid out recipe with photos as well. I doff my cap to anyone who makes their own stock! Turkey is one of those countries (Italy, Greece etc) where I know I would love the food even without having set foot in the place 🙂

  13. @ Robin: Thank you very much and a person who makes their own stock is a person with time on their hands! 🙂 Think you would love the food here in Turkey judging from some of the meals you’ve mentioned in Spain.

  14. That does look fabulous.
    I am a bit infatuated with Turkish food at the moment. I’ve got to find a way to get myself there.
    (And yes, I do think of myself like a human pacman, eating my way round the world!)

  15. @ Barbara: Well, you know where we are. When you finally get here, we’ll go on a big Turkish food trail so you don’t miss out on anything! 🙂

  16. turkey and tomato soup recipe says

    The title of this post has definitely convinced me! I’ll have to try this soup this coming weekend.

  17. Hope you enjoy it when you do try it.

  18. Lule Libelule says

    i tried this soup in istanbul, i am very conservative concerning food and not always want to taste something new, but in turkey all my ideas changed )) i am inlove with this soup and spend a lot of time to find out what kind of soup is )) i’ve tried so many meals nobody remembered about what i was talking )))

  19. @ Lule Libelule: Glad you decided to try lots of different foods in Turkey. the country tends to have that effect on people. You probably tried Ezo Gelin soup, too. 🙂

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