YOGURT KNOW-HOW: Warm and cold yogurt soups abound all over the Eastern Mediterranean. From the Syrian lamb-yogurt soup called shakrya to Turkish yogurt soups, the variety is impressive and spiciness is almost always part of the flavor palette, counterbalancing the cool, refreshing qualities of really good yogurt. Yogurt and Yogurt Substitutes: If you’re using real yogurt, go for the full-fat Greek yogurt variety, which will give the richest texture. If you’re opting for a non-dairy variation, try one of the plain vegan yogurts now available. Look for soy-free, gluten-free, and artificial preservative-free Greek yogurt. I like the ones produced from almond milk the most.
60 min
10 min



  1. Place the eggplant in layers in a colander, lightly salting between each layer. Place a plate or paper towels on top and a weight on top to facilitate the draining. Let them stand for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove, pat dry with paper towels, but do not rinse.
  2. Place the yogurt, one garlic clove, mint, salt, pepper and ice water in a food processor or smoothies blender and puree at high speed to pulverize the mint and garlic. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to keep cold. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the remaining 2 garlic cloves with a little salt until they form a paste. Add the pomegranate syrup and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Light the grill to medium and brush the grill rack with oil, or preheat the broiler and set the oven rack in the center of the oven.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cayenne, and balsamic vinegar and toss the eggplant slices in the mixture. Grill over a medium-hot part of the grill until soft, or place on an oiled sheet pan, and cook for about 8 minutes total, turning once or twice and brushing with the olive oil marinade. If grilling, do this carefully as the marinade may flare up on the grill. Remove, cool slightly, and cut into ½-inch (1¼-cm) dice. Drizzle the eggplant with the pomegranate mixture. Divide into 6 equal portions. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, add the pomegranate-flavored grilled eggplant and drizzle in a little raw olive oil. Serve immediately.

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Note: You can also serve this warm. To do so, gently heat the yogurt mixture, whisking all the while to keep it from separating. Serve the warm yogurt in bowls as above, garnished with the eggplant mixture.

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