In the deep, dark depths of the winter months, this Turkish beyran soup recipe (beyran çorbası, to give it its Turkish name) is definitely a bubbling, steaming bowl of comfort.
The traditional soup of Gaziantep in the southeast of the country, this is a hearty bowl of lamb soup with the lamb meat often being from the neck.
Its main ingredients comprise of a wonderfully spiced lamb stock that is packed with flavour and made even more wholesome with the additiıon lamb meat and rice.
The province of Gaziantep is recognised by UNESCO; added to the Creative Cities Network in 2015 as City of Gastronomy.
And this delicious, traditional beyran soup is one of the reasons for that.
Soup For Breakfast, Anyone?
Soup is one of the bastions of Turkish cuisine.
Although many of us might be more familiar with the table-filling Turkish village breakfast, Turkish people are also no strangers to slurping down one of the famous Turkish soups for their first meal of the day.
And in Gaziantep, where winter temperatures regularly hit minus figures, traditional lokantas serve up countless bowls of spicy beyran soup to kickstart the day of the locals.
Whilst we’re not in Gaziantep, the province’s famous cuisine has spread around the country.
A spicy, hearty soup – that, admittedly, we can’t say we’ve ever had for breakfast. Yet.
Perfect during winter in Fethiye!
How To Make Beyran Soup At Home
This is basically a lamb stock soup. So it’s not a soup that you’re going to knock up quickly from scratch.
Rather, it’s one of those lovely, comforting think-ahead soups.
Make a batch of it. Eat some on the day.
Then get the rest in the freezer for the future when you need to cheer yourself up with some wholesome, healthy food on those dreary, cold rainy days yet to come.
Make Your Lamb Stock
Whilst neck is the traditional cut of lamb meat to use in beyran soup, we also use other on-the-bone cuts that we happen to have in the freezer.
In the photo above, we have some leftover lamb neck and also some small cuts from the leg that are still on the bone.
Lamb is very expensive in Turkey these days, so when we bought some as part of our Christmas menu, the butcher cut a leg to size for us and insisted that the small extra offcuts be used to make soup.
Nothing going to waste!
We already had beyran soup planned for the new year so no issues with wastage there, for us.
These cuts are both your meaty bits and your stock.
We say to make a big batch because all of this is going to happen in a big saucepan.
There’s roughly a kilo of meat (bone included), here.
3 whole cloves of garlic, salça, paprika, plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper and around 2.5 litres of water.
And then we bring to the boil. Turn down to a low heat, cover. Then leave it to simmer for a good couple of hours, until the lamb meat is falling from the bone.
All measurements and timings are very loose for this soup.
As long as you have a good stock and meat falling from the bone, you’re good to go.
Let the lamb cool and then pull it away from the bones and into small pieces.
Just be a bit careful if you’re using lamb neck because small pieces of bone sometimes break off and end up getting lost in your meat.
And as for those cloves of garlic; they’ll be sweet and soft. You can just squash those back into the stock.
From Lamb Stock To Beyran Soup
If we were in one of those packed lokantas, watching the çorbacı (soup chef) making the beyran çorbası, we would be witnessing quite a sight.
- A huge tray with cooked lamb meat and a pile of cooked rice.
- A row of gas burners and a massive vat of lamb stock that has usually been on the go for 9-12 hours!
- Rice and lamb meat will be placed into shallow metal bowls (see top photo) and placed directly onto the fierce gas flames.
- The lamb stock or broth will be ladled over the lamb meat and rice and left until bubbling ferociously.
- Tongs are then used to lift the bowl of boiling beyran soup onto a metal plate. Then garnish is added before being very carefully carried over to its hungry recipient.
Homestyle Beyran Soup
Well, we’re at home with a standard gas hob and ceramic soup bowls. So we’re making our home version of beyran soup.
We’re going to cook our rice separately. So weigh out around 120 grams of uncooked rice (our recipe serves 6 people).
As with our traditional Turkish rice recipe, use double the amount of water to rice and cook for around 10 minutes before leaving to cool, covered.
Meanwhile, we’re going to get that lamb stock bubbling hot with lots of extra flavours in there to really give it some zing.
We’re going to use more garlic – this time, grated.
And then a good tablespoonful of chilli flakes (hot red pepper flakes). Add even more if you want it really spicy.
Then we let that bubble away for about 10 minutes before adding our lamb meat. Then it’s time to serve up.
Portion your rice out into bowls. Then ladle your soup over the rice.
Time To Eat
We serve our beyran soup with hot crusty bread fresh from the oven and enjoy it as a main course.
For even more zingy flavour, we garnish with a generous sprinkling of sumac (as our local restaurant does with their beyran soup recipe), freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkling of dried mint.
All that’s needed now is for you to prep your taste buds for what they are about to be treated to!
If you’re anything like us, you’ll be a beyran soup convert from that very first spoonful!
Our Beyran Soup Recipe
Let’s make Gaziantep-style beyran çorbası…
Beyran Soup Recipe
- 1 Large saucepan for your stock
- 1 Saucepan for your rice
- 1 Sharp knife
- 1 Slotted spoon
- 1 kilogram lamb neck or other lamb meat on the bone
- 120 grams rice
- 20 grams butter
- 7 cloves garlic peeled – 3 whole, 4 grated
- 1 tablespoon chilli flakes more if you like
- 1 dessert spoon salça tomato paste or red pepper paste
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- salt & pepper to season
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- ½ lemon juice of
- First of all, rinse your pieces of lamb under the tap and add to your large saucepan.
- Place on the hob on a high heat and add around 2.5 litres of water and start to bring to the boil.
- Add your tomato / pepper paste, paprika, salt & pepper and stir.
- When the water is boiling, cover and turn a low heat.
- Leave to simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours, until the meat falls easily from the bone.
- Now remove from the heat and remove the lamb from the stock with a slotted spoon. Leave the meat to cool.
- Your whole garlic cloves will now be really soft and sweet. Squash these into your stock.
- Meanwhile, cook your rice by adding around 20 grams of butter to your small saucepan and heating over a medium heat.
- Add your rice and stir around for a couple of minutes before adding hot water. Add double the amount of water to rice.
- Bring the rice to the boil and then cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the rice from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 5 minutes before forking through it.
- Once your lamb has cooled, pull the meat away from the bone and tear into small chunks. Discard the bones and any big pieces of fat.
- When you're ready to eat your soup, place your stock back onto the heat and add your hot chilli flakes (red pepper flakes) and grated garlic.
- Bring to a rapid boil for about 10 minutes and add your lamb meat before removing from the heat.
- Portion your rice out between 6 bowls and ladle your bubbling hot soup over the top.
- Sprinkle with sumac, mint and more chilli if you like and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top.
- As with all of our recipes, the calorie count for our beyran soup is a rough guide. It will depend on the cuts of lamb you are using and how much meat you get from them. On this occasion, we got around 250 grams of lamb meat from the bones we cooked.
- If you want to make a big batch of this soup ahead and eat at a later date, don’t cook any rice. Once you have removed your lamb meat from the bone, add it back to the stock or broth and allow to cool before placing in airtight containers. You can then freeze or refrigerate it.
- When you order beyran soup in an eatery, you might be asked whether you want it spicy or not. Although the stock is already spiced, you can have extra pul biber (hot red pepper flakes) added. Feel free to make your beyran soup extra spicy, if you like.
Although eaten as a breakfast in Gaziantep, we have added our beyran soup recipe to the Soups section of our Turkish recipes collection.