Martha Rose Shulman posted her version of this on her New York Times Recipes for Health column on July 19, 2011. Click here to read about Shulman's version.
It looked delicious & intrigued me, and I wondered how it would work with an unsweetened soy yogurt. Tip: Wildwood's Soy Yogurt is the only one I've seen that's really almost zero sugar!
I modified the recipe considerably. I used soy yogurt, wheat berrries, extra cucumbers, no added water & no watercress. I'm sure the watercress would be an excellent addition--but I didn't have any--and I didn't want to go to the grocery store to buy any.
BTW--this makes a fantastic breakfast!
This is quick to make, but you have to plan ahead. The wheat berries soak for an hour--and they cook for an hour. The cucumbers "marinate" for 30 minutes. And then, the whole completed soup chills for two hours. But it's all so easy to do--and uses up your garden's bounty.
My Riff on Martha's Yogurt Soup
1/2 cup wheat berries, preferably soaked for an hour or more and drained (don’t worry if you haven’t done this, although they make take longer to cook) Martha uses spelt, and says farro will work, too!
2 cups water (to cook the wheat berries)
Salt to taste
1 24 ounce carton of unsweetened plain soy yogurt (Shulman uses 1 qt. of plain low-fat or whole-milk dairy yogurt, free of gums & stabilizers)
2 ripe but firm tomatoes, cut in small dice--I used a combo of a regular tomato, with our homegrown Sweet Million cherry tomatoes. Yum!
1 1/2 cup finely chopped English cucumber (if you use a regular cuke, you'll need to seed it first)
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), finely minced (used our homegrown garlic)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped FRESH dill (Shulman says you can substitute with parsley, mint or cilantro--but I'm a dill fan) I used our homegrown dill.
2 tablespoons snipped chives (used our homegrown chives)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Combine the wheat berries, water and salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer about 50 minutes to an hour until tender and some of the kernels have begun to splay. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Wheat berries should have a nice tooth feel.
2. While the wheat berries are cooking, place the cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss and place in a strainer set over the bowl. Allow to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse well, and allow to drain a bit, or blot with paper towels.
3. Combine all the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for two hours or longer. Serve, garnishing each bowl with a sprinkle of fresh dill & halved cherry tomatoes.
Yield: Serves four
Advance preparation: You can make this several hours to a day before serving. It will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.