Some Like It Cold


Too much heat will kill you. It is true with this weather. I feel like I melt in the hot air. I can not breath, I sweat and I want to sleep. I don’t even want to eat too much. The problem is that I have too. What do I want to eat? Watermelon, everyday, all day long. Yogurt, plain and fat. Fruits in season. Sometimes a barbecue. And then again watermelon. And yogurt. Speaking about yogurt I remembered that some years ago, I discovered an easy and fresh recipe with yogurt, just perfect for a hot summer day. Little did I know that it is a well-known sauce in the Mediterranean area known as tzatziki. I found the recipe in the book “The Practical Encyclopedia of East European Cooking”, a book that provided and will give other recipes here.

I am talking now about a Bulgarian soup, also known by the name Tarator and I am sure that for days like these, when to be honest, I hate to stay in the kitchen and get hot by the oven, it is just one of the best ways to fill my stomach.

Cold Cucumber and Yogurt Soup/ Tarator

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2,5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 75 g (3 oz, 3/4 cup) walnut pieces
  • 40 g (1 1/2 oz) day-old bread, torn into pieces
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) walnut or sunflower oil
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz, 1 2/3) cups cow’s or sheep’s yogurt (my favourite one is Total Greek yogurt, the classic one)
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz, 1/2) cup cold water or chilled still mineral water
  • 5-10 ml (1-2 tsp) lemon juice
  • 40 g (1 1/2 oz, 1/2 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped, to garnish
  • 25 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) olive oil, to garnish
  • sprigs of fresh dill
Method:
  • Peel the cucumber. Dice the cucumber flesh and set aside.
  • Using a large mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and salt together well; add the walnuts and bread.
  • When the mixture is smooth, add the walnut or sunflower oil slowly and combine well.
  • Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and beat in the yogurt and diced cucumber.
  • Add the cold water or mineral water and lemon juice to taste.  If you prefer the soup smooth, purée it in a food processor or blender before serving.
  • Pour the soup into chilled soup bowls to serve. Garnish with the coarsely chopped walnuts, a little olive oil drizzled over the nuts and sprigs of fresh dill.
Bon appetite!

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