Today I felt like a hearty soup with flavors from my childhood. My mother-in-law made a yogurt soup with chickpeas a month ago, and it was perfectly delicious. I wanted to Make the same yogurt soup but with bulgur meatballs instead of chickpeas. I got the bulgur meatballs in yogurt soup idea from having eaten similar soups growing up. Armenians originally from the Southeastern part of Turkey use bulgur and yogurt in many of our dishes.
There’s about 30 minutes of active prep time and another 30 minutes for the bulgur and beef mixture to sit. The quantities here are enough for a family of five with left overs for the next day. This recipe calls for fine bulgur wheat, which can be found in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern markets.
Here is what you’ll need for the meatballs:
- Half a medium yellow onion, blended
- 1-1.3 lbs. of 85% lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup of fine bulgur wheat (#1 grind)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. salt and a few rounds of black pepper
Here is what you’ll need for the soup:
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 egg
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 tbsp. dried mint
- Salt to taste
First make the meatballs. Using a blender, a hand-held immersion blender, or chopper, blend the onion until mostly smooth. Add the onion, beef, bulgur wheat, egg, salt and pepper to a large bowl and knead with your hands until well mixed. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow for the bulgur to soften before frying.
Shape the meatballs into the size of cherry tomatoes. Now it’s time to fry the meatballs. In a frying pan, add about a 3/4 of an inch deep of oil and heat over high. I recommend a smaller frying pan to save on oil. Fry the meatballs in batches. It takes about 4 minutes for them to cook. Be sure to shake the frying pan to get the oil all over the meatballs. Set the meatballs aside in a paper towel lined bowl.
Make the soup now. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and set aside. In a deep pot, heat the rest of the chicken stock over high heat.
In a big large bowl, whisk the egg together with the yogurt and flour. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of chicken broth and whisk until smooth. If there are lumps, use a hand-held immersion blender to smooth them out. Once the stock starts simmering, use a soup ladle and slowly pour some of the chicken stock into the egg mixture while continuously stirring. Do this one more time. Finally, slowly pour the tempered egg mixture into the simmering stock. Don’t forget to stir! Add the meatballs and mint now as well. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to stir slowly until the soup comes to a slow simmer again (a few minutes). Add salt to taste and serve.