If you’re looking for comfort food, whip up a bowl of this Armenian Yogurt Soup, called Spas. It’s a simple dish that is sure to satisfy!
Armenian Yogurt Soup
Spas is a traditional Armenian soup made with yogurt and soft wheat berries.
This yogurt soup is very smooth and comforting. The chewy wheat berries provide an interesting texture and make the soup more filling.
Spas is the perfect soup to warm you up on a cold dark evening and you can use it as an alternative to a chicken soup to soothe cold and flu symptoms.
It can also be served cold during hot summer months.
This Armenian soup is very budget-friendly and is made using simple ingredients that most people have in their fridge and pantry.
How To Make Yogurt Soup
The soup is very easy to make.
To whip up a small batch of Spas, first, cook wheat berries in water until chewy.
(Wheat berries take some time to cook but you don’t need to constantly watch them.)
To make the soup, mix the egg, flour, yogurt, and sour cream in a pot. Add water, season, with salt and cook, stirring often, for about ten to fifteen minutes. Add some chopped herbs and the cooked wheat berries at the end, and you are done!
Working With Dairy In Soup
Usually, we use heavy cream to make a creamy soup because cultured products with lower fat content such as yogurt and sour cream curdle when heated.
Interestingly, you won’t see this happening in Spas because the egg prevents yogurt from curdling.
Still, make sure to stir the soup often when cooking.
Variations On My Yogurt Soup Recipe
As with most traditional recipes, every family has their own way of cooking Spas (I am sharing with you my husband’s family recipe).
Here are a few recipe variations I’ve found:
- If you don’t like wheat berries or don’t want to spend time cooking them, you can make Spas with rice, bulgur, or barley. Just make sure to cook the grains according to the instructions on the packaging. You can also make the soup thicker by adding more of the grain of your choice.
- If you don’t like parsley or don’t have it on hand, you can make Spas with cilantro or fresh mint. In some regions, this Armenian yogurt soup is always made with dried mint.
- If you are going to serve the soup hot and want to make it taste richer, you can fry a little bit of chopped onion in butter until golden and then add it to the soup. I’ve also seen it made with fried green onions.
If you are interested to learn a few Armenian recipes, Spas is a good way to start.
As you can see, it’s a simple recipe that doesn’t require any complicated cooking techniques or hard to find ingredients.
The taste of this Armenian yogurt soup is also relatively mild. The soup is very smooth with a pleasant mouthfeel that is suitable for adults and children.
There are also quite a few ways you can adjust the flavor using various grains and herbs to suit your taste preferences.
Now It’s Your Turn
So, what do you think about this traditional Armenian soup? Have you tried Spas? If not, would you be interested in trying it?
If you cook Armenian at home, which version of this recipe do you use?
Please let us know in the comment section below.
Spas (Armenian Yogurt Soup)
- 1/2 cup dry soft wheat kernels (also called soft wheat berries)
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups 2% plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 cups water
- salt to taste
- a handful of parsley, chopped
- To cook the soft wheat berries, rinse them under running water. Place the rinsed berries into a sauce pan and add enough water to cover the grains by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 40 to 45 minutes until the grains are chewy. Drain and set aside.
- To make the soup, add the egg into a pot where you are going to cook the soup. Beat the egg slightly with a wooden spoon.
- Add the flour. To make sure there are no lumps, its best to sift the flour into the egg making sure to constantly mix.
- Mix the egg and flour until smooth, then add the yogurt and sour cream. Stir to combine. Then add two cups of water.
- You can add the wheat berries at this stage, if you like. This way, they will cook some more and become softer. If you are happy with the texture of your wheat berries, add them at the end of cooking.
- Place the pot on the stove and start warming it up making sure to stir often. Bring it to a simmer. Continue cooking for about ten minutes, until thickened slightly.
- Add the chopped parsley and, if you haven't done so already, the wheat berries. Remove the soup from the heat and serve.