Barley

Turkish Farmers soup

by:
May  9, 2010
Author Notes

I play an obscure Turkish instrument and my music teacher is a very demanding man (as his children were quick to tell me when I started taking lessons). When he found out his wife couldn't cook, the story goes, he threatened to call off the wedding until his fiancee's mother made her memorize a cookbook. To this day, all the Turks say that she's the best cook around. She always insists I have dinner with them and she has taught me a few recipes, but this one (called Yayla Corbasi, which means "green mountain fields soup") I reverse engineered to suit my usual ingredients. She makes this soup with a very liquidy homemade yogurt, whereas I usually have greek-style yogurt or full-fat Brown Cow. Anyway, this is a really quick, delicious comfort-food soup. I always have the ingredients on hand, so I throw this together when I don't want to try very hard. Can also whisk in an egg to thicken it up. —solmstea

  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup Bulgur wheat or Pearled barley (or ~1.5 cup cooked)
  • 1 cup Plain Greek style or full fat yogurt
  • 2 cups Stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup Fresh dill, finely diced
  • Salt, to taste
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Cook the Bulgur or Barley in lots of salted water until tender (~30 minutes for cracked bulgur, ~1 hour for pearled barley).
  2. Bring the stock or water to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat down to low-medium and whisk in the yogurt until it's smooth and well-blended.
  4. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice - that is, whisk quickly and add the lemon slowly. I don't like it too lemony, but if you like a lemony taste, you could probably use as much as 1/4 cup.
  5. Add the bulgur or barley to the soup and simmer lightly (without boiling!) for 5 - 10 minutes. Salt to taste.
  6. When the soup is hot, but not boiling, turn off the heat and whisk in the dill (if you're using dry, use ~1.5 tablespoons). Serve!

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Review
I like to cook simply, especially cooking with things I can find (or at the very least, find at the farmers market which, in SoCal, contains every kind of produce on earth!). I like ingredients like lambsquarters, which grow in every alley and once-tilled ditch but are overlooked as weeds. Or I like scuba diving for lobster - lobster you catch with your bare hands just tastes Great! Generally, I don't like overly fussy recipes and tend to just improvise with whatever I have on hand and few meals come out of my kitchen without green garlic, cayenne, orange zest, or either fresh mint or dill.