There are lots of delicious starters and appetizers in Persian cuisine. The most common one is the Soupe Jou (سوپ جو). If we want to translate it to English, it means “chicken barley soup”.
Soupe Jou appears in every Persian table as a daily light meal, mostly for a light dinner, and as a starter and appetizer in dinner parties and I could say that everybody, even children, loves it. Of course, I should mention that this delicious starter is served all over the world in every country, and people know and love it as much as an Iranian dose.
Different types of Soupe Jou:
There are various recipes for Soupe Jou. But two of these recipes are more relevant which the rest of these recipes are based on these two. One of them is “chicken barley soup” which is simple, and its sauce is based on chicken stock and tomato paste. The second one is “cream barley soup”. This one is a little more nobility, and it includes béchamel sauce with cream and milk along with the chicken stock, and tomato paste is not in its recipe.
I should say it here that in exclusive parties like wedding ceremonies, cream barley soup is mostly served instead of chicken barley soup.
Important nutrition facts:
Since Soupe Jou includes different rang of ingredients like vegetables, herbs, chicken stock, and dairy, so it has high value and quality nutrition. It also has high calories with 504 calories per 616gr (a big bowl). It is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C because of its fresh vegetables. So it is beneficial when you are cold, and you get flu.
The antioxidant properties of barley provide more health to your body and so it can slows down ageing. Fibre source of barley can also reduce the risk of cancer as well as heart diseases.
The milk and cream, which is used in cream barley soup, provide a significant amount of calcium and protein in this dish. So you imagine how Soupe Jou can be useful and beneficial to growing children and patients recover.
Serving type of Soupe Jou:
Soupe Jou can be served as a light meal, especially for a light dinner for those who have a weight loss diet. Also, it can be an appetizer and starter in dinner parties, especially in particular parties like wedding ceremonies and Iftar table during Ramadan.
Decorating its top with chopped parsley and a few barberries (Zereshk) make its appearance charming, and they are lovely garnish. The important thing is that hot soup is more pleasant.
Since the ingredients used in cooking Soupe Jou are mostly vegetable base but chicken stock, you can easily remove it and replace it with vegetable stock. So you make it available for a vegetarian diet.
But I should refer to this that a vegetarian and a vegan can`t taste cream barley soup. It is changed to chicken barley soup Because by removing the milk and cream and its chicken stock already is replaced with vegetable stock.
What are the ingredients of Soupe Jou?
As Soupe Jou is a very nutritious food, it would have a lot and various types of ingredients; Including carrot, potato, barley, onion, chicken stock, flour, butter, water. And flavourings like salt, turmeric, lemon juice and tomato paste that are using in cooking chicken barley soup. If you remove tomato paste and replace it with milk and cream, so you will have the ingredients of cream barley soup.
How to cook Soupe Jou:
In this article, I am going to talk about chicken barley soup. In the first step, you need to fry some onion. Then, you should cook the barley with some water, some chicken stock, and fried onion. It lasts almost minutes. When it cooked, add chopped carrot and potato and let it cook.
Meanwhile, it would be best if you prepared its sauce. For making the sauce, you need to melt the butter and add the flour to it and stir until it cooked. Then you should add the chicken stock little by little and stir it constantly until it gets smooth and thickens. The end step in making the sauce is adding the tomato paste. After cooking the carrot and potato h, you must add your sauce, flavouring and lemon juice to cooking ingredients and let it boil for another 15 minutes until it thickens entirely and gets ready. Finely you can decorate its top with barberries (Zereshk) and chopped parsley. It is ready to serve.
This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time is about 2 hours, and the cooking time is 30 minutes.
- 1½ cups pearl barley, soaked in water for almost 2 hours
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cup of water
- 1 large onion
- 1 large potato
- 1 large carrot
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2-3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon potato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon oil
- A few chopped parsley and barriers (Zereshk)
- Peel the onion and slice it. Then fry it in the frying pan with a little oil.
- Grab a large pot and pour 2 cups water and 2 cups chicken stock and add soaked barley and fried to it. Please put it on a medium flame and let it boil and cook.
- Meanwhile, it would be best if you prepared its sauce. So take a saucepan and melt the butter in it.
- Add flour to it and stir until cooking.
- Add the other half of chicken stock to it little by little and stir it until it mixes well and gets smooth.
- Let it boil and thicken. After thickening, add tomato paste to it and let it boil for another 5 minutes.
- Peel carrot and potato and slice them.
- Check if barley has been cooked well and add slices of carrot and potato to it and let them boil and cook.
- After cooking all ingredients, add prepared sauce, salt, and turmeric and let it boil for some more minutes to thicken.
- After that add the lemon juice and allow it to boil just for more five minutes.
- Pour it into the serving bowl. Decorate the top with chopped parsley and Zereshk.
- It is ready to serve. Enjoy it.
- You can add some brewed saffron that it influences soup`s color and taste and make it more delicious. But it is a choice depending on your preference.
- If you want to serve it as a light meal, you can have a piece of bread the size of a palm that makes it more pleasant.
- Some people like it to be sourer. So you`d better have some lemon juice on the table.
- If you serve this soup hot, it would be more pleasant.