Yogurt Soup with chickpeas and barley is a creamy, aromatic heart healthy vegetarian soup with good fiber, protein, potassium and healthy fats!
ABOUT CHICKPEA BARLEY YOGURT SOUP
The inspiration for this recipe comes from Mediterranean, Persian and other Central Asian cuisines. Yogurt based soups are popular in Turkey, Armenia, Iran and the surrounding areas. The final seasoning of the soup is slightly influenced by a popular Indian yogurt based gravy dish my mother used to prepare, which is known as Kadhi.
While we are talking about this soup with yogurt and barley, one hugely popular soup also made with barley that you may NOT want to miss is my Creamy Persian Barley Soup.
HEALTH BENEFITS - SOUP WITH BARLEY AND CHICKPEAS
This soup has things in it that makes it good for gut health- the soluble and insoluble fiber from both chickpeas and barley, plus the short chain fatty acids produced by the digestion of chickpeas are good for colon health. It makes for a soothing soup that will also enhance your immune system.
Yogurt and chickpeas together provide a good amount of protein. The milk protein in yogurt is of excellent quality and biological value. As indicated in my post on Yogurt Chickpea Salad, chickpeas provide protein that is of better quality than several other plant sources.
The barley along with the yogurt give this soup a creamy richness. I have explained in greater detail about the impressive nutrition value of barley in my post on Barley Porridge with Blueberries.
This creamy soup has in it the ingredients that contribute to fullness and satiety, and therefore can be a good choice for weight management. If you like yogurt based dishes you will love this soup with its rich flavors and soft chickpea bites!!
COOKING TIPS FOR BEST SOUP
So now how does one make this hot yogurt soup with barley and chickpeas without curdling it. Well there are just a few things to take care of when combining the ingredients for the soup. We do that by tempering it.
A portion of the hot soup should be added little by little to the yogurt until it gets adjusted to the temperature without curdling. After the yogurt and soup blend is added back to the remaining soup in the cooking pot, it should be heated at low medium without bringing it to a boil. The same tip applies to reheating leftover soup.
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Yogurt Soup with Chickpeas and Barley
- 1/2 cup chickpeas soaked overnight
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion medium, chopped
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 2 tablespoons celery chopped
- 2 tablespoons pearl barley
- 1/4 teaspoon Persian spice mix (Advieh) or any mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 2 ½ cups yogurt reduced fat
- 3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- 3 tablespoons dill chopped
- Salt to taste
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a cooking pot. Sauté the chopped onions. Add one grated garlic, celery and sauté few more minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, barley, spices and stir.
- Then add the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil. Lower heat and let it simmer until the chickpeas and barley are cooked very soft, adding more stock or water as needed. But do not make it too watery.
- Add yogurt to the soup using the tempering method to prevent curdling*. Whisk the yogurt in a bowl, then add the hot soup to the yogurt, one spoon at a time until about one third of the hot soup is stirred into the yogurt.
- Next add the yogurt and soup mixture back to the remaining hot soup gradually. Make sure to set the temperature at low medium. Do not boil the soup. Add herbs and salt to taste.
- To season the soup, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add cumin seeds if using it and let it turn light brown. Next add sliced onion and sauté until golden brown and crisp. Add the grated garlic and sauté few minutes, but do not let it brown. Turn the heat off. Add turmeric and dried mint.
- Top the seasoning over the soup and give it a gentle stir to infuse the flavors. Serve this creamy and delicious soup with bread.