Yogurt or Buttermilk Soup With Toasted Barley

I was cleaning out the refrigerator as well as my pantry when I put together this refreshing summer soup. If you can’t get organic or Greek yogurt, free of gums and stabilizers, use buttermilk.


For the yogurt or buttermilk soup with toasted barley

  • cup pearl barley
  • About 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup finely diced cucumber
  • 1 quart plain low-fat yogurt (free of gums and stabilizers) or buttermilk, or a mixture of the two
  • 2 ripe but firm tomatoes, cut in small dice
  • 1 stalk celery, cut in small dice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced or pureed with a little salt in a mortar and pestle
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh mint leaves
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

      152 calories; 3 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 10 grams protein; 9 milligrams cholesterol; 216 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

Serves six


For the yogurt or buttermilk soup with toasted barley

  1. Heat a heavy, medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the barley. Stir or shake in the pan until it begins to smell toasty, about five minutes. Add the water and salt (to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon), and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside.
  2. While the barley is cooking, place the cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss and place in a strainer set over the bowl. Allow to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse well and drain on paper towels.
  3. Combine all the ingredients except the mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for one hour or longer. Serve, garnishing each bowl with the mint.
  • Advance preparation: You can make this several hours before serving. Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at martha-rose-shulman.com.

About 2 hours 30 minutes

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