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.
MY AUNTIE IN CALIFORNIA MADE IT WITH BARLEY AND CHOPPED BABY SPINACH. IT WAS A WONDERFUL DELIGHT AT LUNCHTIME WITH LAVASH OR HOMEMADE CRACKER BREAD.
Served with Lahmajun! :)