Azerbaijani Kefir and Greens Soup

Total Time
5hrs 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 5 hrs

My new favorite book, "Olive Trees and Honey" by Gil Marks, is the source of this delicious soup. If Kefir is not available to you, substitute plain yogurt. This soup is best served freshly warm just as it is done, and is traditionally served after the main course. The long total time for preparation includes 4 hours of soaking the split peas before making the soup, which I included as "cooking" time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the split peas, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, partially cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir the flour into the kefir (or yogurt). Add the egg. Gradually whisk 2 cups of the hot soup into the kefir, then stir the kefir back into the soup pot.
  5. Add the spinach, salt and sugar and simmer over low heat until the rice is tender, about 10 more minutes. Do not boil or the kefir will curdle.
  6. Add the scallions, cilantro, dill and mint and simmer, stirring constantly, or 1 minute.
  7. Remove from heat. Sprinkle a little bit of ground sumac on each serving.
Most Helpful

I had soaked my peas and drained last week and finally got to make this soup tonight with my homemade kefir....did not have mint or sumac. Used 1 tetra veg stock then topped off with last nights potato water. My peas and rice could be cooked more and so am letting it sit at low to simmer and ensure no boiling . I am really enjoying the soup and all its healthy ingredients

karen in tbay April 02, 2013

Was looking for something to do with the split peas I discovered in the back of my cupboard and found this recipe. Fantastic find! The flavours are great - rich, hearty and complex. Also, this soup doesn't cross the "too sour" line and will be hearty addition to our table in the winter months. Did almost everything as written, down to the kefir (I used 3.5%) but did omit the dill due to personal preference. As a side note, I live in Russia where Caucasian food is available on every corner yet have never had this dish before - I'll look for it in future. Thanks for posting!

krinklushka December 02, 2011

Exceptional! Except for doubling the spinach, I didn't change a thing; and I won't be making any changes when I next make this. I used my Vegetable Stock and Greek yoghurt, which is the yoghurt I always use. Just loved the blend of flavours. Made for PRMR. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe, Susiecat too!

bluemoon downunder November 25, 2008