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Every year we get a Christmas gift of a cookbook, well we demand it really. This year’s was Med by Claudia Roden and we made this soup as soon as we got home. The flavours are unusual and very delicate but it’s really lovely.

Yoghurt soup with orzo & chickpeas – serves 4

  • 50g orzo
  • 700ml chicken stock (or you can use veg stock)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 250g Greek-styke yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • a good pinch of saffron threads
  • 120g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • extra virgin olive oil, sumac & chilli powder (to garnish)

Cook the orzo in salty boiling water according to the pack instructions, then drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in another saucepan.

Put the egg yolk and cornflour into a bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth. Put a large spoonful of the yoghurt into the bowl and beat to combine, then beat in the rest of the yoghurt. Stir in the mint, saffron and some black pepper.

Remove the stock from the heat and add the yoghurt mixture, whisking continuously. Stir over a very low heat until beginning to simmer, then cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add the chickpeas and heat through and season with salt to taste.

Mix the orzo into the soup just before serving.

Divide between warm bowls and garnish with the sumac, chilli powder and olive oil.

(Original recipe from Med A Cookbook by Claudia Roden, Ebury Press, 2021.)

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