Yogurt or Buttermilk Soup With Spinach and Grains

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This is informed by my yogurt or buttermilk soup with wheat berries from a few weeks ago, but this time I stirred chopped steamed spinach into the refreshing mixture. It’s a great soup to keep on hand as summer arrives. For a particularly irresistible version, add some diced avocado.


  • ¾

    pound (1 generous bunch) spinach, stemmed and washed in 2 changes of water, or 6 ounces baby spinach, rinsed

  • 1 ½

    cups finely diced cucumber (2 Persian cucumbers)

  • Salt to taste

  • 5

    cups plain low-fat yogurt (free of gums and stabilizers) or buttermilk, or a mixture of the two

  • 1

    cup finely diced celery

  • 1 to 2

    garlic cloves (to taste), finely minced or puréed with a little salt in a mortar and pestle

  • 2

    tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (more to taste)

  • 1

    cup cooked barley, spelt, kamut or farro

  • cup diced radishes

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)

  • ½

    teaspoon sumac (more to taste)

  • 2

    tablespoons chopped cilantro


  • 1

    ripe Hass avocado, cut in small dice
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

      238 calories; 8 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 29 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 15 grams sugars; 14 grams protein; 12 milligrams cholesterol; 890 milligrams sodium

    • Note:

      The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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  1. Place the cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss and place in a strainer set over the bowl. Allow to drain for 15 minutes. Rinse if desired and drain on paper towels.
  2. Meanwhile, steam the spinach above 1 inch of boiling water until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes, moving the leaves around with tongs once to ensure that they steam evenly. Rinse with cold water and squeeze out excess moisture. Chop medium-fine.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Thin out with ice water if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for one hour or longer.


  • Advance preparation: You can make this several hours before serving, but wait a while before you stir in the spinach so that its color doesn’t fade too much. If you’re making the soup to eat during the week (it makes a terrific lunch) keep the
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