Marian Amiraian’s Yogurt Soup (Tahnabour)

Tahnabour (Yogurt Soup)

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to be in the right place, at the right time. Recently, neighbor Marian Amiraian called to say her children weren’t able to visit and she made a giant pot of Tanabour that she didn’t know what to do with, so would Doug and I be interested in having some.

Interested? Was she kidding?? Of course we were! We live a hop, skip, and a jump away, and were only too happy to help Marian out. After keeping a small portion for herself, we were treated to the rest. It made the perfect lunch, and boy, was it DELICIOUS! Thanks, Marian!

How did Marian make it? Here’s what she said:

Place 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth in a large saucepan, toss in a handful of quick-cooking barley, and cook until barley is tender. Set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl, place ½ of a large container of plain yogurt, and whisk in one whole egg until well combined. Set aside.

Meantime, in a skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter, and saute ½ an onion, finely minced, over a low heat. When onions begin to caramelize, stir in about 1 Tbsp dried mint. As soon as the onion and butter turn a light brown, remove skillet from heat.

Once the chicken broth has cooled, vigorously whisk the yogurt-egg mixture into the saucepan, then stir in the onion-mint mixture. Heat ever-so gently, stirring constantly, until a slight simmer has been reached.
Serve immediately.

NOTE: When reheating, use a low heat, stirring often, to prevent curdling.

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  1. bonnie September 26, 2010 at 12:38 am

    This sounds really interesting. Does it taste like a sort of tangy cream of chicken soup?

  2. Robyn Kalajian September 26, 2010 at 4:10 am

    You really don't taste the chicken broth. The tangy yogurt and mint are the stars of this recipe.
    To make a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken.

  3. vignette design September 27, 2010 at 2:12 am

    This sounds delicious. Can't wait to try it.

  4. tasteofbeirut September 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    This is a delicious soup that I would have no trouble enjoying, since I grew up on yogurt-based sauces with mint swirled in at the end; I am taking note of the different techniques here, with great interest.

  5. Susan AKA Andovercookiemama September 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Oh! This recipe brought back memories of my Mom making this deliciious soup. I'm going to make it for the family on a cold Autumn afternoon. YUM!!!

  6. Anonymous February 22, 2011 at 12:38 am

    I do not put chicken broth.After cooking the barley in water i add a couple of celery stalks cut up. I do add a cup of flour (armenian coffee cup)and egg with a large container of yogurt. Also i add spinach boiling onions whole (lots of tears) dried mint and fresh cilantro. You can serve it hot or I love to eat it cold. . . sandy

  7. KJ@SLA April 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I found this recipe and this blog while I was thinking about an Armenian lamb and yogurt soup I had enjoyed, before I stopped eating meat, at an Armenian restaurant here in Melbourne. So very delicious! I swapped the barley for a can of cannellini beans, mashed up a little. I will definitely try more of the vegetarian recipes here! 😀 Thanks

  8. Robyn April 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Glad you found us, and hope you'll enjoy the meatless recipes on our site.

  9. Rattlesnakechili June 12, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    It may look like barley, but tahnabour is traditionally made with hulled whole wheat berries, called "dzedzadz" in Armenian. Cook the wheat berries until they are tender to the tooth, the drain and cool before you add to the yogurt.

  10. Anonymous October 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    We make this without chicken broth, only yogurt.

  11. Anonymous October 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Just posted this recipe…via link…on the Food Network FB site. It's very much like my Medz mama's….mmmmm. Hope you get a lot of hits!

  12. Unknown September 6, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    My Nana always made this with rice instead of barley. It's a delicious soup!


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