EZOGELIN ÇORBASI: CHEF TALK and COOKING PROGRAM on “Ezo-the-Bride’s” Turkish Wedding Soup with Red Lentils, Bulgur, Butter, and Mint
Turkish Ezogelin Çorbasi, otherwise known as “Ezo the Bride’s Soup,” is traditionally served for new brides right before their wedding day as a way of preparing them for the uncertainty of marriage.
The origin of this soup comes from a relatively modern and sad legend about a young Turkish woman in the early 1900s named Ezo (short for Zöhre) who came from the village of Dokuzyol near Gaziantep. Because of her undeniable beauty, many men who spotted her while traveling through the region longed for her hand in marriage. Unfortunately for Ezo, her first marriage ended in divorce and her second marriage years later forced her to move away from home to Syria where she raised nine children virtually alone and in poverty. It is believed that in order to please her cruel mother-in-law, and prove herself worthy of marrying the woman’s son, she prepared this special red lentil soup.
A fragrant and wholesome soup that combines bulgur, rice, red lentils, and butter simmered with garlic, tomatoes, and mint, Ezo’s story lives on in Ezogelin Çorbasi, which over time has become a symbol of sustenance for new brides entering the great unknown future of marriage. It has also become a national symbol of love and pride for one’s country.
This interactive hands-on seminar will teach you how to make this nourishing and popular Turkish soup. Participants will come away with an increased understanding of this legendary dish. (And you don’t have to be a bride — or a groom — to enjoy it!)
Ground lamb or beef
Long-grain white rice (if you have a meat or spice grinder) or fine-grain bulgur wheat (coarseness #1) or Cream of Rice cereal (if you don’t own a grinder)
Low- or no-sodium beef stock
Fresh parsley leaves
Yellow/summer squash or zucchini
Frozen and defrosted peas (optional)
White potatoes (any kind)
Measuring cups and spoons
Large chef’s/chopping knife and cutting board
Spice grinder or meat grinder (if using raw rice for outer meatball shell)
Medium size mixing bowl
Small bowl with cold water, for rolling meatballs
Tray or large plate, for holding finished meatballs
3- or 4-quart soup pot with lid