Ibrahim Kasif's hellim (halloumi) and yoghurt soup
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
“This is a much-loved Turkish-Cypriot soup," says chef Ibrahim Kasif, "albeit the cheat version made alternatively to using tarhana, a sour grain made by fermenting burghul with yoghurt and then drying it under the sun and re-hydrating it. This soup is still extremely delicious, it’s tangy, and the soft bouncy hellim add delicious flavor and texture.”
This recipe originally appeared in the Turkish edition of Eatable magazine, on sale here in print and digital.
50ml olive oil
200g hellim (halloumi) cheese, washed and soaked to disgorge salt, then diced
2 lemons, juiced
150g fine burghul
1 ltr chicken stock, beef stock or water
300g thick plain yoghurt
2 tbsp dried mint
1 bunch of round-leaf mint, coarsely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil and Turkish pepper flakes, to serve (see note)
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Fry the hellim until golden, then remove to a plate and set aside. Pour over lemon juice to marinate the cooked hellim.
2. Add burghul, stock or water and dried mint into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Season to taste, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes until burghul is tender and thickening the liquid.
3. Place yoghurt into a bowl. Ladle 200ml of hot burghul mixture into the yoghurt to temper it. Reduce heat to low and return the yoghurt mixture and the lemon marinated hellim. Stir well.
4. To serve, stir mint through the soup and drizzle with olive oil. Season with Turkish pepper flakes.
N O T E
Turkish pepper flakes are a mild dried chilli flake available from Turkish grocers.
Recipe by Ibrahim Kasif and photography by Lisa Featherby.