Yogurt Soup With Toasted Barley

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This is an ideal refreshing summer soup that I first put together when cleaning out the refrigerator and pantry. If unable to source organic or Greek yoghurt (without stabilizers or gums), feel free to use buttermilk.


For the yogurt or buttermilk soup with toasted barley

  • ⅓ cup pearl barley
  • About 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup cucumber (finely diced)
  • 1 quart plain low-fat yogurt (without stabilizers or gums) or buttermilk (or a mix of both)
  • 2 ripe but firm tomatoes (small dice)
  • 1 stalk celery (small dice)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely mince, or puree in mortar & pestle with a pinch of salt)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 2 tablespoons chives (snipped)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (toasted lightly, ground)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (slivered)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings):
    155 calories; 3 grams fat; 10 grams protein; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 0 grams monounsaturated fat;22 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 13 grams sugars; 9 milligrams cholesterol; 758 milligrams sodium

The information shown is only an estimate based on the available ingredients and specified preparation. This should not take the place of a professional nutritionist’s advice.


For the yogurt or buttermilk soup with toasted barley

  1. Take a medium-sized, heavy saucepan and heat over a med-high heat – then, add barley. Shake or stir the pan until the barley begins to smell toasty, roughly 5 minutes. Add the water & salt to taste (approx. ½ teaspoon), before bringing to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for roughly 45 min, until tender. Take off heat, drain, and set aside.
  2. While your barley is cooking, put the cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss, then put into a strainer above the bowl. Let drain for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and drain on a paper towel.
  3. Take all ingredients except the mint, and combine. Season with salt & pepper according to individual tastes. Chill for an hour, or longer. Garnish each bowl with mint and serve


  • Prepare in advance: This dish can be made several hours prior to serving.