Monday, April 22, 2013

Soup #16 / Tahn Abour / Yogurt Soup

I've been meaning to make this soup for a while as it's definitely one of my favorites. Tahn Abour literally means "Yogurt soup" is an Armenian dish that's buttery, yogurt-y, minty, and filling, all in the most amazing way - and it's good hot or cold! What could be better?

What you will need: 
1 cup wheat (pelted and hulled) or bulgur
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups of plain yogurt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup mint, chopped (dried mint is fine!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

How to make it: 

In a large sauce pan, add your wheat and broth and on a medium low heat, cook your wheat for one hour until the wheat is soft and fluffy. When the wheat is cooked, take a medium non-stick pan and melt your butter and add the chopped onion. Saute until your onion is translucent - a few minutes. Add this to the broth and wheat. Now add in your parsley, mint, and some salt and pepper to taste.  Cook this for about 45 minutes longer, letting the flavors marry.  

Now it's time to add the yogurt, but you can't add it straight in or it will curdle the yogurt (yuck!).  So you want to temper the yogurt. In a small mixing bowl, add your two cups of yogurt. Then spoon in several spoon fulls of the hot soup, whisking quickly as you go. This will warm the yogurt and get it ready to be added to the hot soup. When it's room temperature, stir it into the soup gradually and continue to stir until it's all mixed in well. Simmer for another 3-5 minutes. 

Serve the soup immediately, or you can cool it and serve cold. 

The Verdict: YUM!  Success! Honestly, I was a little worried. I've never made Tahn Abour on my own before, and I had these amazing memories of how rich and flavorful it was. As I was cooking the wheat and tasting it here and there and I was like "really? this is what it tastes like?!" I was convinced I was doing something wrong. But I kept on cooking and following my mom's recipe, and once those buttery onions and all the spices hit the soup, I could taste the closeness... and then when I added the yogurt, it all came together in it's tasty goodness! E approved as well with some remarkable compliments. It's always good when you make a traditional dish and it lives up to expectations!

What I would do differently: I adore this soup and all the exquisite flavor. But with all that goodness comes lots of...calories. If I were making this again, I would try to maybe use 1/2 the butter, and maybe some low-fat or fat free yogurt. Also, all the extra calories made our soup very thick when cold... I think that a low-fat/non-fat yogurt would make this soup a little easier to enjoy cold too (which is half the fun of having this as a leftover!).