Turkish Pumpkin Soup: Balkabagi Corbasi Recipe
Ingredients for Turkish Pumpkin Soup (photos by Timur Kocak)
Our friend Timur Kocak is a New York-based actor and playwright, who regularly performs with the Actors Shakespeare Company. The company garnered rave reviews for his very entertaining adaptation of “The Three Musketeers.” Timur scored extra kudos for adding a fine performance in the role of Athos.
But the theater isn’t the only place where he performs well. His good taste and creativity extend to the kitchen. We asked him to contribute a recipe and he’s come through with a terrific seasonal dish with an ethnic twist. We can’t think of a vegetable more iconic than the pumpkin this time of year and not long ago we posted a classic American recipe for pumpkin soup. Timur has taken the emblematic squash and added the richly unique flavor of leeks, another of our favorite seasonal delights. But his artistry really shines through with the way the soup is flavored with traditionally Turkish ingredients. The result is a healthy pumpkin soup delicious for the way it tantalizes the taste buds.
Here’s what Timur wrote us about his pumpkin soup, “…or in Turkish: Balkabagi Corbasi (with a ˘ over the "g" and no dot over each "i") is a recipe from the villages around the old Ottoman capital, Bursa. Not a common dish in Turkey, as far as I've heard, but seems ideal for the weeks after Halloween when the price of pumpkins plummets in North America.”
As a tasty way to warm up in cool weather it is Ideal indeed!
Ingredients for 12 Servings
• 1 Large, or 2 small pumpkins
• 2 Large leeks
• 4 Cloves of garlic
• 1 Large onion
• 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 Teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/2 Cup of extra virgin olive oil
• 4 Tablespoons of butter
• 1 Tablespoon honey
• 1/2 Gallon of chicken stock (vegetarians can use vegetable stock)
• Salt & pepper to taste
• 1 Cup of yogurt (optional)
1. Cut pumpkin(s) in half, remove the seeds and bake face-down on a cookie sheet at 350 for about an hour. The seeds can be salted and roasted at the same time to go with cocktails before dinner - remove at the first appearance of brown.
2. Soften chopped leeks, onion and garlic with butter and oil in a deep, thick-bottomed pan with cinnamon, allspice and pepper. Let pumpkin halves cool and then scoop out the flesh with a large spoon and add to the pan.
3. Add stock, honey and salt bring to a boil then simmer for at least an hour. Soup can pureed in a blender or pushed though a sieve.
4. Stir a small amount of yogurt into each serving and garnish with some thinly-sliced sautéed leek or fresh parsley.
Our Friend Timur
If you’d like to learn more about the splendid work of Timur’s talented theater company go to: Actors Shakespeare Company
If you’d like to see a view a selection of our favorite honeys from a boutique honeybee farm in Connecticut go to: Red Bee Farm’s Natural Honeys
If you'd like to purchase our favorite extra virgin olive oil from Stella Cadente, click on: L'Autunno Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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