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Toasting the barley may not be traditional to this Persian comfort food, but we found it was an easy way to subtly enhance the soup's flavor and aroma. Shredded carrots lend an earthy sweetness, ground turmeric adds a golden hue and sour cream offers a touch of richness and tang. Be sure to use the small holes of a box grater to finely shred the carrots. For this soup, we used quick-cooking barley rather than the more common pearled barley. This form of barley, which resembles rolled oats, allows the dish to be on the table in under 45 minutes. The dried cranberries may seem like a curious addition, but they add welcome tartness and color and are good stand-ins for hard-to-find barberries.
cup quick-cooking barley
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
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