Tarhana Soup {Sour Dough Soup}

Tarhana soup is a well loved soup in my native Bosnia, as well as in some other countries such as Greece, Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Egypt, etc. The noodles are made from sour dough and give a soup that specific taste and tomato sauce just enhances its flavor. So, if you like your sourdough bread, I am sure you will like Tarhana as well.

My maternal Grandmother used to make the noodles from scratch. I am not quite sure of how the whole process works, but I can tell you what I remember from my childhood.

The dough is made with flour, water, salt, possibly yeast (some say yogurt too, or with tomato sauce) and it’s left to ferment for 3-4 days (or more). More flour is added to the mixture each day. When the dough is ready, it is divided into hand-size patties which are then left to dry (best in the airy and sunny spot). After they’re dry they are shredded or coarsely grounded into noodles and stored in plastic containers or jars.

I buy my noodles at the store with Bosnian, Balkan or Middle Eastern products. Tarhana soup can be made in several different ways and with various ingredients. This is my family recipe.

Tarhana soup, trahana

Tarhana Soup {Sour Dough Soup}

[Printable recipe]


  • 2 TBSP cooking oil
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 of a medium green bell pepper
  • 1 celery stalk (optional)
  • 1 small zucchini (optional)
  • 3/4 lb (about 350 g) ground beef
  • 1 tsp “Vegeta” spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • A pinch of ground white pepper
  • 15 oz (425 g) can tomato sauce
  • 5 cups (1 liter + 200 ml) water
  • 1 cup (about 200 g) tarhana noodles
  • Chopped parsley
  • Sour cream (optional)

*** All vegetables finely chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a cooking pot and add all finely chopped vegetables. Sauté for 5 minutes then add ground beef.
  2. Sauté ground beef and veggies for another 5-10 minutes, then add spices, tomato sauce and water.
  3. Bring it to boil and add tarhana noodles. Stir well. Let the soup simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally as the noodles tend to stick to the bottom.
  4. Noodles will thicken the soup. If it’s too thick for your taste, you can always add a little water.
  5. Serve garnished with fresh chopped parsley or a tablespoon of sour cream
  6. ENJOY!


Tarhana soup preparation

Tarhana soup - trahana

Tarhana soup - trahana




15 thoughts on “Tarhana Soup {Sour Dough Soup}

  1. Ahh, this is my favorite soup to this day :). I grew up eating it in Turkey as a child and still crave it all the time. The stuff you can order online just isn’t the same as kind they made in the villages.

  2. Just making mine now and I made my “noodles” my self .
    We love this I make it at least once a week
    Thanks for sharing Sibi:)

  3. Can’t wait to try your noodles and soup. I frequently make sourdough bread so it will be easy to try. BTW, I have learned that I can “adjust” the amount of sourdough taste by removing some of the starter each day when I add the fresh flour. I keep sourdough starter in my refrigerator so can keep it from getting too strong this way until I am ready to use it. hugs, pat

    1. Hi Pat, thanks for visiting!:) I am not a sourdough expert, but I assume it wouldn’t take much effort to make these noodles. There is a place here where I can buy them so I didn’t try making them myself. I am enjoying your poetry very much! 🙂 Have a great week!

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