Soup for breakfast?

One of the interesting things about travelling is discovering the huge variation in breakfast cultures. To exaggerate just a bit, while dinner around the world tends to be some combination of savoury carbohydrates and proteins, breakfast is really culturally specific.

A Turkish breakfast is made up of bread and/ or pastries like ‘pogaca’, a sort of cheesy roll; more cheese; cucumber; tomato; olives; boiled eggs; jam or preserves; and sometimes fruit. Although we ate this pretty much every day for 3 weeks, I forgot to take a photo, so check this one out, it’s a good example of the Turkish morning spread.

However, most curious to me was the habit of soup for breakfast. In Fethiye, a yachting town on the Mediterranean south coast, I was surprised to see half a dozen old guys tucking in to bowls of soup for breakfast at a wood fired pide place (more on pide later).  It was most likely the delicious, nourishing lentil soup but could also have been the national favourite, tarhana.

Powdered tarhana mix - but it's more old school to make your own

Tarhana is made with a mix of ground, dried vegetables, like a homemade instant soup, and its unusual flavour comes from the dried mint and the lemon you squeeze over the bowl.

Talking about soup for breakfast with our guide as we hiked the Lycian Way, Koray emphasised the importance of soup for Turkey’s nomadic peoples as a warm and life sustaining food source. And it’s really yummy.

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