Balkabagi Corbasi (Pumpkin Soup)


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 onions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 leek, sliced (reserve 1/3rd of it to saute later)
  • Garnish: 4+ Tablespoons thick creamy yoghurt (the authentic yoghurt is special to the village of Bursa and has a distinctive taste); also sauteed leeks
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 pounds pumpkin (or other winter squash, like butternut, acorn, etc.)


Heat the oil in a saucepan on a low heat. Stir in the onions, 2/3rds of the leek, and garlic and sweat, covered, until transparent. Stir in the spices, honey, and pumpkin, cover, and let sweat together for another couple minutes. Pour in the stock, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft. Puree in a blender, solids first. Pour back into the pan and reheat. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, saute the rest of the leek slices. Ladle the soup into bowls. Swirl one heaping Tablespoon of yoghurt into each bowl, then top each with some sauteed leeks.

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