Friday, October 26, 2018

Armenian Madzoon Abour (Yogurt Soup)

Doug and I are supposed to be on a bus trip today from our new community in SC to Lake Lure, NC. The idea of seeing the fall leaves, taking a boat ride on the lake, followed by lunch with a view of the lake sounded idyllic when we agreed to go a few weeks ago.

What a boat ride on Lake Lure, NC looks like on a lovely day.
Enter Mother Nature … She’s dumping rain throughout the Carolinas – all day - with temperatures in the 40’s (50’s, if we’re lucky). NOT our idea of a good time outdoors. 
Much to our disappointment, we cancelled. We decided that, at our age, comfort and safety are more important than traveling for hours in a bus, then sitting on a wet boat.

To appease ourselves, we decided it’s a great day for soup. The one that will soothe and satisfy us is traditional Armenian Madzoon Abour (Yogurt Soup) – also known as Spas, in some regions.

We’ll re-visit Lake Lure some other time.
Armenian Madzoon Abour (Yogurt Soup) with Lavash (Image from Hannaford; mine isn't done cooking yet!)

Armenian Madzoon Abour (Yogurt Soup)
Yield: about 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced 
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoon Italian, flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped (1 tsp. – or to taste - dried mint may be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup hulled whole wheat berries, (dzedzadz) – sold in Middle eastern stores (NOTE: 1 cup quick-cooking pearl barley may be substituted)
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (chicken broth may be substituted)
2 cups plain yogurt, (low-fat or full-fat yogurt may be used – NOT Greek-style)
NOTE: Purists only use yogurt; no broth! In which case you’d add 5 cups.
Garnish: Paprika, fresh mint leaves or dried mint, optional


1. If using whole wheat berries (dzedzadz), cook them in 3 cups of water until tender to the tooth. Drain and cool. Set aside until it is added in step #3.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently until softened, about 3 minutes. Add parsley, mint, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add broth. (NOTE: If using quick-cooking barley, add it now.)

3. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until soup just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and let soup cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in yogurt. (NOTE: If using cooked wheat berries from step 1, add it now.) Heat over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir well.

4. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and fresh or dried mint, if desired.

Serve immediately with Lavash!

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