Lebeniye Corbasi: Yoghurt soup with chickpeas, kofta and mint butter

turkish yogurt soup with chickpeas lebeniye corbasi

Ok, we have a new favorite soup! Lebeniye Corbasi, or Lebeniye soup, is a kind of upgrade to Turkish yoghurt soup. It tastes incredibly creamy, refreshing, warming and is simply pure comfort food. Imagine a really heart-warming winter soup. Now take away the idea of something super savory and combine this culinary comfort with a little freshness and lightness. That's roughly what Lebeniye soup feels like. 


We have already presented classic Turkish yoghurt soup and Turkish yoghurt soup with chickpeas and manti on the blog. Lebeniye soup is a Turkish yogurt soup with chickpeas and meatballs. However, these variations of Turkish yoghurt soups were not created by us. In Turkey, people simply love yoghurt soup, which is why it comes in all kinds of variations.


And what exactly is Lebeniye soup?

Lebeniye soup comes from the south-east of Turkey. Opinions differ as to whether it really comes from Gaziantep, Diyarbakir or Mardin. In any case, Turkish yoghurt soup with chickpeas and kofta is popular in Syria and Iraq. The name also comes from Arabic. In Arabic, "laban" means yoghurt (sometimes also milk). In Turkish, however, "Lebeniye" has no other meaning and is therefore a proper name. 


In terms of taste, Lebeniye soup is a simple yoghurt soup. However, as it is supplemented with rice, chickpeas and meatballs, it tastes more like a stew and is really filling. The highlight here, as with any Turkish yoghurt soup, is undoubtedly the mint butter. If you don't make mint butter, the yoghurt soup won't taste good - fact.


In the many years that we have been making Turkish yoghurt soup, we have also skipped this step before. And yes, it disappoints! So don't think about sprinkling the dried mint directly into the soup. However, you won't be tempted when preparing the Lebeniye Corba anyway, as the meatballs are fried in butter in the same way. 


A tip for Turkish yogurt soup

Before you go straight to the yoghurt soup recipe, we'll give you one more tip. Because although yoghurt soup is super easy to prepare, things can go wrong.


Namely, the yogurt can curdle (and yes, we have experienced this too in many years of making Turkish yogurt soup). Therefore, do not tip the yoghurt mixture directly into the cooking water, but instead mix a ladleful of hot water into the yoghurt mixture, stir until smooth and then pour the mixture into the soup. This means that the temperature difference is not so big and the yoghurt binds well. Don't forget to stir!


And now: Afiyet olsun.


Lebeniye soup recipe: Yoghurt soup with chickpeas, kofta and mint butter



  • 2 tbsp rice
  • 100 g/ 3,5 oz dried chickpeas (or 200 g/7 oz from the tin)
  • 300 grams/10 oz of firm/Greek yogurt (if you are using stirred yogurt, use more)
  • 2 full tablespoons of flour
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 liter of water (can be adjusted)
  • salt

For the meatballs

  • 200 grams/7 oz of minced meat (beef)
  • 1 onion
  • salt & pepper

For the mint butter

  • 2 full tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp dried mint



turkish yogurt soup recipe with chickpeas and köfte


-If you are using dried chickpeas, soak them for several hours beforehand.


Step 1: Cook the rice with 1 liter of water and salt. If you are using self-soaked chickpeas, cook them with the rice. 

Step 2: While the rice (& chickpeas) is cooking, prepare the meatballs. To do this, finely grate an onion and mix it with the minced meat, a little salt and pepper. Now form very small kofte from the mince mixture. They should not be much bigger than a chickpea.

Step 3: Once the meatballs are formed and the rice (& chickpeas) are cooked, mix the yogurt, lemon juice and flour in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Remove a ladleful of the cooking water and stir it into the yogurt mixture.

Now quick: tip the diluted yogurt mixture directly into the cooking water and stir the whole time with the whisk. You can only stop stirring when the Turkish yogurt soup comes to the boil. If you are using tinned chickpeas, add them to the soup now. Leave the soup to simmer at a low temperature for a few minutes (2-5 mins) and then turn off the heat. If the soup is too thick, add a little water.

Step 4: Melt the butter in a small pan and fry the kofta for a few minutes. Once they are a little brown, add the mint and fry briefly. Pour the mint butter and meatballs into the finished Turkish yogurt soup. Add salt to taste.

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