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.
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