‘Spas’ – Madzoon (Yogurt) Soup with Grains

Just as we arrived in Yerevan, Doug began to feel down-right rotten due to a nasty head cold. Besides needing a good night’s sleep, he craved a bowl of steaming hot soup. Luckily for us, our hotel, Best Western Congress Hotel, had a rather nice, extremely convenient, restaurant on the premises.

Our hotel in Yerevan –  Congress Hotel

Doug noticed ‘spas’ on the menu, and chose it for
medicinal purposes. It’s pretty-much the same as the yogurt soup we’d eaten as kids, so
it was a comforting choice.

Did spas cure Doug’s head cold? Well, in a manner of
speaking; he (unintentionally) passed it on to me!
‘Spas’ from the Congress Hotel’s restaurant

The Armenian Kitchen’s Spas
–  Madzoon (Yogurt) Soup with Grains
Yield: 4 to 5 servings

NOTE: This soup may be served
hot or cold, but, if you choose to serve this cold, omit the egg yolk!

1/2 cup shelled wheat (a.k.a. dzedzadz) (NOTE: Found
in Middle Eastern stores, BUT, farro, wheat berries or pearl barley may be substituted.)
3 cups strained or Greek-style plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups water – or – low-sodium chicken broth (NOTE:
For a thinner soup add more water or broth; for a thicker soup, add less.)
1 egg yolk, beaten (Save egg white for another use.)
2 Tbsp. flour
½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup onion,
finely chopped
2 tsp. dried
crush mint – or- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh
parsley, chopped, optional

1. Cook shelled wheat (dzedzadz) in 4 cups of lightly
salted, boiling water until tender – about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. If there is any excess liquid, drain it. Set cooked wheat aside until ready to
Cooked shelled wheat (dzedzadz)
Step #2

2. In a 6-quart pot, blend together yogurt, water (or
broth), egg yolk and flour with an electric hand mixer. Cook until mixture reaches a
gentle boil, stirring constantly with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Stir in
salt and cooked wheat; cook one minute longer. 
Remove from heat. 

3. In a skillet, sautė onion in butter until
soft, but not brown. Add mint, and parsley, if using.
Step #3

4. Add onion mixture to soup; simmer for five more
minutes. Serve immediately.

View Comments

  • Yogurt soup is such amazing comfort food when it's cold or when YOU have a cold. In the winter, when I get home, I'm hungry, I need something quick, I make this soup. Since I usually don't want to wait for the shelled wheat to cook, I substitute bulgur, rice, or even vermicelli (arishta/sheeriyeh), plus whatever meat or frozen vegetables I happen to have handy. Very satisfying.

    I hope you had a great time in Armenia!

    • We've been eating this soup since childhood, and were so happy to see it on the menu at our hotel. Your substitutions are a great way to save time, thanks!
      Our trip was amazing on so many levels!

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