Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Tasting Jerusalem #4 – Mint

Hot Yoghurt and Barley Soup
Dee – For the March 2015 featured ingredient, mint, I chose the Armenian influenced Hot Yoghurt and Barley Soup on Page 134.  This recipe had the advantage of featuring mint in both fresh and dried forms, so fit the bill well.
Before I started preparing the dish, I had to overcome my fear of the yoghurt splitting while it was heating, so I took the precaution of using full-fat yoghurt instead of the fat-free variety that I normally buy.  The soup needed to be assembled in stages and the tempering of the yoghurt required a degree of care to prevent the dreaded splitting, but luckily it turned out fine.
The inclusion of the barley gave the soup a hearty feel, and it proved to be a meal in its own right, without any accompaniments.

Upon tasting the soup, my first impression was that it was more about texture than flavour, and I mean that in a good way.  In fact, I would even go so far as to say that it was a new taste experience.  The yoghurt provided lightness of colour and creaminess of texture, while the barley offered a comforting and filling feel, together with its characteristic chewiness.  The mint, which I initially assumed would be the predominant flavour, was only quite subtle.  The soup would work nicely as a winter warmer.  It made great comfort food and I am pleased to say that there is plenty left over.

“Tasting Jerusalem is a virtual cooking community exploring the vibrant flavors and cuisine of the Middle East through the lens of Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimi published by Ebury Press. You can follow along and cook with us by subscribing to  following the hashtag #TastingJrslm on Twitter and Instagram, liking our Facebook Page or joining our Google+ Community and finally checking out all of our groups’ dishes on Pinterest
(Please note: I have listed the UK publisher and have linked to the UK Amazon site.  The US details are provided on the web site)


  1. I just adore your write-ups -- always great hints about making the dish and your insights about eating it are thoughtful and helpful. So happy to have you cooking with us!

  2. Thanks so much, I really appreciate the positive feedback. This is a great project to be part of, and I'm enjoying seeing it develop.