I've seen a lot of recipes for this soup; however, my mother-in-law adds tomato paste for a bit of a different flavour and she doesn't add any lentils or beans. It's thick, filling, and delicious, and you could make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock.

Advertisement

Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat the chicken stock in a pot to a gentle simmer.

    Advertisement
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent. Add the pearl barley to the pot and stir for one minute. Stir in the hot chicken stock, turmeric, lime juice, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.

  • Mix in the carrots and continue simmering 30 minutes or until the soup has thickened and the carrots and barley are tender. If the soup is too thick, add hot water, one tablespoon at a time.

  • Place the sour cream in a small bowl. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot soup mixture into sour cream, whisking constantly. Gradually add the sour cream mixture into the soup pot, whisking constantly. Stir in the fresh parsley. Serve with fresh lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts

193.3 calories; 5.5 g protein; 28.3 g carbohydrates; 9.5 mg cholesterol; 177.6 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (69)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/09/2007
My best friend is Persian and I love the rich flavour of Persian food. This soup is great and full of flavour. I've always tried to make Persian food myself but whenever I've tried it doesn't taste the same as my best friend's mom. This is the closest I've gotten so far! Excellent recipe and really easy. Update: I've since made this dish countless times and it is definitely Persian approved! I do things slightly differently though. When I saute the onions I add the tumeric. I definitely add more then a teaspoon of tumeric. I keep adding pinches until the onions are a bright yellow-orange. I also add saffron which makes this dish more authentic. I take a few saffron stems and mix them with about a 1/2 teaspoon of hot water so it becomes a liquid and I add it in the beginning to the onions. I also add the finely diced carrots when I add the barley because I find it takes a while for the carrots to cook in this recipe. Fresh parsley is also a must and I probablly add at least a cup of it finely chopped. And finally this recipe makes the barley into a thick stew and it isn't really like a soup texture. If you want to to be soupy add more broth and decrease the barley. Read More
(74)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
02/25/2011
I decided to substitute the sour cream for plain yogurt and I did not like the result. The soup was way too sour and seemed to be missing something. Don't think I'll make it again even with sour cream. Read More
(2)
95 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 58
  • 4 star values: 25
  • 3 star values: 10
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
04/09/2007
My best friend is Persian and I love the rich flavour of Persian food. This soup is great and full of flavour. I've always tried to make Persian food myself but whenever I've tried it doesn't taste the same as my best friend's mom. This is the closest I've gotten so far! Excellent recipe and really easy. Update: I've since made this dish countless times and it is definitely Persian approved! I do things slightly differently though. When I saute the onions I add the tumeric. I definitely add more then a teaspoon of tumeric. I keep adding pinches until the onions are a bright yellow-orange. I also add saffron which makes this dish more authentic. I take a few saffron stems and mix them with about a 1/2 teaspoon of hot water so it becomes a liquid and I add it in the beginning to the onions. I also add the finely diced carrots when I add the barley because I find it takes a while for the carrots to cook in this recipe. Fresh parsley is also a must and I probablly add at least a cup of it finely chopped. And finally this recipe makes the barley into a thick stew and it isn't really like a soup texture. If you want to to be soupy add more broth and decrease the barley. Read More
(74)
Rating: 5 stars
03/13/2008
I never do these online review things but I had to say how much I loved this soup! The ingredients are so simple but somehow it's more than the some of its parts--it has a rich subtle slightly elusive taste that even my 8-year-old loved. The only changes that I made were to add some saffron (a good pinch) to the broth while it was heating and I added chopped fresh dill at the end along with the parsley. And the sour cream works great but you can also substitute creme fraiche--and in that case it doesn't need to be tempered when you add it to the soup you can just stir it in; it won't separate. I'm so glad to have this as part of my "repertoire"! I plan on making it a LOT. Read More
(32)
Rating: 4 stars
12/29/2008
Added cubed chicken. I recommend using yogurt instead of sour cream. I doubled the amount of yogurt as I like my soup a little sour. Great recipe. Read More
(26)
Advertisement
Rating: 4 stars
08/14/2014
EDIT August 2014: I made this again didn't do anything differently but liked it much better the second time. Glad I gave it a second chance!:) I wanted to like this... It had been in my recipe for ages before I actually got around to making it. I made it for an Iranian friend and although we both liked it enough to eat it it is unfortunately not something that I would make again. The taste was okay I followed the recipe exactly. In terms of texture a bit thick but thinning it out would not have improved it much. I guess it was just kind of monotonous to eat spoonful after spoonful. Lacked something essential but I am nevertheless glad that I finally made it. Oh well! Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
07/25/2008
This was delicious! I don't know why I'm surprised - Persian food is always great - but wow! I would absolutely make this again! And it's perfect for a summer dinner. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
08/09/2008
I am a soup fanatic and I am always looking for different soups to add to my repertoire. The only change I made to this soup was using cilantro instead of parsley (I had that on hand). It was very delicious!!! I will make this again. Read More
(8)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
07/21/2010
This is so good. I threw everything but the carrots sour cream and parsley in the slow-cooker and let it go all day on low. It worked nicely. I shredded the carrots when I got home so they would cook faster. The consistency is great and the lime is perfect in this. I loved it. The only thing I will do differently in the future is leave out the parsley. Either I'll forget about it altogether or I'll use some cilantro in its place. I had a little before adding the parsley and a little more after adding it- I prefer it without. Thanks for the recipe Autumn Leaves- this is a keeper. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
02/02/2009
I don't know much about Persian cuisine but this soup was very good! Sour creamy hearty... I'm glad I made a huge pot for myself because I keep getting back for leftovers! Will make again very soon. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
04/30/2010
For ease of preparation flavor and food cost this MUST be a five-star recipe. I shall add that I made this a while ago and just broke some of it out of the freezer. It froze very well. My only warning would be to take care with the turmeric; not only can/will it stain it can overwhelm other flavors in the dish. I also enjoy stirring a good bit of plain (goats milk) yogurt through it when it's hot and eat with buttered crusty bread. Check out the nutrition stats and add it to your repertoire post-haste! What are you waiting for?! Read More
(6)
Rating: 3 stars
02/25/2011
I decided to substitute the sour cream for plain yogurt and I did not like the result. The soup was way too sour and seemed to be missing something. Don't think I'll make it again even with sour cream. Read More
(2)