Tarhana is probably the first instant soup ever. Tarhana at first sight looks like bread crumbs. Actually it is made up of vegetables such as onions, tomato, red pepper and other ingredients such as yogurt, flour and various spices. Although pretty easy it is time consuming to prepare tarhana at home and it is somewhat smelly too. My grandmother used to prepare it for all of us when she was younger. She even adjusted the taste according to our taste, more spicy for the grown-ups and not so for the kids.
Nowadays it is possible to find tarhana in the neighbourhood markets as well as in the supermarkets. Unfortunately the packaged ones can hardly match home-made ones.
Making the dough requires time and effort, however the soup is very easy to prepare. What you need to know is; how many people will have the soup. Then you will know how many table spoons of tarhana you will use. The only burden about this soup is that you will have to mix the soup while cooking it. If you stop you might have little balls of tarhana that are not dissolved. If you somehow happen to have these just get rid of them by using a wire colander.
The texture of this soup should be somewhat thick, so the water should be about 250 milliters for every tablespoon. When it waits it will get thicker you might want to add some more water.
Some people add tomato paste to their Tarhana soup. If the tarhana’s color is too pale and not bright orange close to red, then I would suggest adding tomato paste. However if the color is right, as a sign that enough and good quality tomato has been used in the preparation, you will not need to add tomato paste.
Some garnish it with red hot pepper flakes and dry mint flakes. I find it totally optional and personally wouldn’t prefer to add anything to this already very tasty soup.
I always had it when I was a kid and especially when I wasn’t feeling well. I still love it.
Serve warm and enjoy.