Yogurt Barley Soup

January 2, 2018
Yogurt Barley Soup

I've been blogging for nearly seven years now: for most of 2011 and part of 2012 I baked and blogged my way through Beard on Bread; once I finished that project, I started this site (which at the time was called "My Mixing Bowl" and almost exclusively focused on recipes).  When I stumble across old posts—say, I need the recipe for braised red cabbage—it's like catching a glimpse of a past self in the mirror.  Even if I don't remember writing the words, I recognize the themes.  There's my annual "it should be spring already but I live in Minnesota" rant; my nostalgic Christmas baking posts; my particular brand of humor about things like the Cookie Yield Paradox and the Annual Tax Software Fight.  And when things are tough, when I can detect the anxiety and sadness woven into my words, I always turn to soup.

There is the coconut carrot soup that helped me through a time of transition; the miso ginger sweet potato soup that gives me a sense of confidence; the slow cooker split pea soup that gets dinner on the table when life is overwhelming.  And this winter, when my seasonal affective disorder, stress, and insomnia threw me for a loop, there was this yogurt barley soup.  It's a sort of hybrid between a broth and cream soup, thinner than you would expect but with a silky texture.  It tastes fresh, but in a way that's achievable with winter supermarket offerings: a tang from plain yogurt, a grassy sprinkling of fresh parsley, an herbal undertone of dried mint. 

Yogurt barley soup didn't solve my problems.  But as I've written again and again over the years, a bowl of soup gave me comfort and strength to face another day.

Adapted from the Kitchn

Serves two as a main course


Yogurt Barley Soup Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • smoked paprika, to taste

Combine barley and 1 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until barley is chewy-tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain any excess water.

Meanwhile, remove yogurt from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in prepared barley, parsley, mint, salt, and pepper and stir to coat evenly.  Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.

Remove soup from heat and stir in the room-temperature yogurt.  Season with additional pepper if desired and smoked paprika to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley.

Yogurt Barley Soup

If you enjoyed this post, pin it!

Yogurt Barley Soup