Turkish Lebeniye soup can be described as a true meatball soup. This Turkish Lebeniye soup or meatballs and chickpea Soup is a filling and delicious main course. Believe me when I say that a soup can be a main dish and you can fill up on just one soup. Turkish lebeniye soup is a very tasty recipe with rice, chickpeas and small meatballs. It is as healthy as it is delicious. You may also call it Turkish yogurt soup with meatballs.
A healthy and hearty Turkish-style meatball and chickpea soup to warm up your winter evenings. Traditionally this soup came from Gaziantep (city in Turkey) and usually served as an appetizer or sometimes as an entree at the family dinner table.
The word Lebeniye came from Arabic to Turkish language. "Leben" means curd or yogurt in Arabic and Lebeniye is derived from this word. Literally, it can be translated as "about the milk". It is actually a soup as its name suggests, because it is made with yogurt. Lebeniye soup or lebeniye corbasi, which is widely eaten in the southeastern region of Turkey, is also a soup used in Lebanon.
In a chopper add onion, chicken, salt, black pepper powder and chop everything well.
Grease hands with oil, take small quantity of prepared mince and and make a ball of cherry size or chickpea size. (with this much quantity you may easily make 70-75 meatballs).
Sprinkle some all purpose flour over a dish and place all the prepared meatballs on it. Sprinkle some more flour over the meatballs and roll these in it to coat well.
In a frying pan add olive oil and heat it on medium flame.
Fry the meatballs on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till they get golden brown from all sides. Set these aside.
In a pot add soaked and drained rice along with 1 & 1/2 liter of water and salt, mix well.
Bring the water to boil, cover the pot and let the rice cook for 8-10 minutes.
After the time add more 1 & 1/2 liter of water, chickpeas and mix well. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Add cooked chicken meat balls and mix well.
Now add crushed black pepper and give a mix. Take about 1 cup of prepared stock out for later use.
Cover the pot partially and cook the soup on medium low flame for 12-15 minutes.
On the other side in a mixing bowl add yogurt, egg, all purpose flour and whisk well.
Add lemon juice and mix it well.
Add reserved stock in this yogurt mixture and combine well. We have added this warm stock in the yogurt mixture to improve its temperature so it may not curdle when we add it in the boiling soup.
Gradually add this yogurt mixture in the soup and mix well for 3-4 minutes.
Cook over low flame for 3-4 minutes more or till the soup is thick.
In the same frying pan heat the butter and let it melt on low flame.
Add dried mint leaves in this butter and mix well.
Add this prepared tempering over the soup and mix well.
Turkish lebeniye soup or meatballs and chickpea soup is ready to enjoy.