Barley and fresh mint soup with greek yoghurt [gluten free, diabetic friendly]

barley yoghurt soup oxo

High in fibre, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, barley is one of those old fashioned grains that is perhaps not considered to be as trendy as some other popular ones being marketed today.  I like its nutty taste and the soft texture that never becomes mushy and it is lower in calories and fats than most other ancient grains.

Combined with fresh mint and greek yoghurt, this is a light soup that I first discovered in the back streets of a small cafe in Istanbul.

I love the fresh onion and garlic available locally right now with a milder taste and I make sure to use all the bulb and leaves.  They are never overpowering.

Barley and fresh mint soup with greek yoghurt

Category: Soup

Cuisine: Turkish

Yield: 4 portions

Barley and fresh mint soup with greek yoghurt

A light, creamy and wholesome soup without the richness of cream


  • 400g Greek Yoghurt
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • a pinch of dried mint
  • 1cm fresh turmeric root
  • 120g barley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a fresh onion
  • 1 fresh garlic
  • 1 stock pot, [I use OXO garden vegetables]
  • 2 1/2 litres water
  • a pinch of stevia
  • To garnish: fresh mint leaves, lemon segments, smoked paprika


  1. Soak the barley overnight in cold water.
  2. In a large pot, place the olive oil and saute the fresh onion and garlic on low heat until they become translucent.
  3. Rinse the soaked barley and add it to the pot. Add the vegetable stock pot, grate the fresh turmeric root and add the water. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes to half an hour until the barley is cooked but not over-cooked. Add half the chopped fresh mint., half the chopped fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the stevia to balance the flavours.
  4. In a large bowl place the Greek Yoghurt. Add a ladle of soup and stir. Keep adding a ladle at a time as otherwise it will curdle. Once you have added all the soup mix, return to the pot.
  5. Add the rest of the parsley and mint.
  6. Serve immediately or if you need to gently reheat it and do not allow it to boil.
  7. Garnish with a slice of lemon, smoked paprika and mint leaves.


For a gluten free recipe, use brown rice or quinoa instead of barley. This recipe is diabetic friendly.