Last time I visited Umut’s mother in Zonguldak she prepared tomato orzo soup and Turkish-style moussaka for dinner.
I eagerly watched and learned, and believe they’re two quick and delicious recipes that can be easily made.

Note: The soup featured below was the soup I had made in anticipation for Ben and Kyra’s arrival.

 

tomato orzo soup

 

Tomato Orzo Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • Spicy Green Pepper
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • Pepper Paste (Biber Salcasi)
  • Chicken Bouillon
  • Orzo

TO PREPARE:

If you’d like a hint of spice follow as directed, if not omit the spicy green pepper.

1. Sauté a spicy green pepper in oil.
2. Cut the tomatoes horizontally to grate the inside of the tomatoes. Do not include the skin. Add the “insides” to the pot.
3. Add a spoonful of pepper paste (biber salcasi).
4. Add chicken bouillon and water.
5. Add salt.
6. Add 4 spoonfuls of orzo. When the orzo is cooked, the soup is complete.

 

turkish mousakka

 

Turkish-Style Moussaka

INGREDIENTS:

  • Eggplant
  • Onion
  • Ground Beef (Kıyma Et)
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • Pepper Paste (Biber Salcasi)

STEP 1:
To prepare the eggplant:
1. Cut the eggplant into thick cubes and place into a bowl of salt water (to remove excess liquid).
2. When ready, pat the eggplant dry and begin frying in a pan of oil. Fry until they have color on both sides.
3. Remove the eggplant from the pan and leave to cool on a paper towel (to continue to remove excess liquid and oil).

STEP 2:
In a separate pan:
1. Sauté diced onion in oil (If you’d like some additional spice add a diced spicy green pepper).
2. Add ground beef (kıyma et) and mix until the meat is fully cooked.
3. Peel and dice 2 tomatoes, add to pot.
4. Add black pepper and salt to taste.
5. Add a spoonful of pepper paste (biber salcasi).

STEP 3:
In a pot combine:
1. The fried eggplant from Step 1.
2. Garlic cloves
3. The meat mixture made in Step 2.
4. A couple cups of water
Cover and cook on a medium heat for approximately 20 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until you’ve reached your desired eggplant texture.

TO SERVE:
Eat as is, or combine with yogurt.