Tarhana Çorbasi, from near Vazil village, Akçaabat (Trabzon)
500 g fresh Akçaabat Tarhana
100 g dried Cranberry beans (preferably from the Black Sea region)
200 g fresh, local butter
1500 ml Vazil village spring water
Soak the tarhana in the water for three or four hours. Separately soak the beans in water, preferably overnight. Drain beans and cook in a pot in water until tender and soft but not mushy. In another pot bring the tarhana to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon to avoid clumps. Cook on a low flame, 90 minutes. Drain the beans and add them to the Tarhana. Add the butter and enjoy your soup while warm.
In much the way a hearty, fresh chicken soup is considered the “jewish penicillin,” consuming tarhana in the winter is thought to bring health and wellness, a general feeling of well-being captured by the possibly untranslatable turkish word şifa, which is concerned with healing, or curing. Perhaps “the remedy for what ails you” captures the sentiment.
The variant of tarhana made in this region uses bulghur and yoghurt (instead of flour). The bulghur must be boiled before using.