Tarator – Chilled Cucumber Soup

Super tasty and extremely refreshing, this cold cucumber soup is the perfect dish to cool you down during those hot summer days.

Super tasty and extremely refreshing, this cold cucumber soup is the perfect dish to cool you down during those hot summer days. Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian summer soup, which can be found on the menu of many restaurants and diners. It’s actually a chilled soup, though some people prefer to call it a liquid salad, which really does work well on the pallet. The soup is very easy to prepare and it can be on the table within minutes… Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian summer soup, which can be found on the menu of many restaurants and diners.  It’s actually a chilled soup, though some people prefer to call it a liquid salad, which really does work well on the pallet. The soup is very easy to prepare and it can be on the table within minutes…

Personally I was avoiding this dish for quite some time now, the idea of a yogurt soup simply didn’t appeal to me very much, but then came that moment when visiting friends and I was cornered with no escape, the dish sat before me on the table coaxing me to try and surrounded by expectant faces waiting to see my reaction to eating it. To everyone’s joy, there was no screwed up face just wide eyes and that feeling of hmmm… more… now I’ve tried it, there is just no going back… it is definitely staying on the regular “go to” menu in our household.

One thing to have in mind, the longer you leave it in the fridge, the more intense the flavours…

The recipe below is for quite a large portion but we usually keep it in the fridge for up to a week, as the intensifying of the flavours works for us rather well, and it’s wonderful to be able to just open the fridge and grab a bowlful when you want a snack or a starter. If you think it’s going to make way too much for you or you just want to try and see if it’s for you simply halve the ingredients and prepare a smaller serving.

Ingredients:

  • 800ml Greek yogurt
  • 400ml filtered chilled water
  • 4 large garlic cloves; minced
  • 1kg cucumbers
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill; finely chopped
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp black pepper (optional)
  • Ice cubes – for serving (optional)

Super tasty and extremely refreshing, this cold cucumber soup is the perfect dish to cool you down during those hot summer days. Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian summer soup, which can be found on the menu of many restaurants and diners. It’s actually a chilled soup, though some people prefer to call it a liquid salad, which really does work well on the pallet. The soup is very easy to prepare and it can be on the table within minutes…

Method:

Wash the cucumbers (do not peel) then grate half of them; the remaining half chop into cubes. Place them in a large bowl and add the salt – let them rest like this for at least 5 minutes so they can start to absorb some of the salt.

In the meantime, mince the garlic and finely chop the dill and add to the cucumber mix.

Add the yogurt and water to your cucumbers, season with fresh cracked pepper and mix well.

Serve well chilled or even better over some ice and enjoy the cool sensation.

See, told you it was easy, now go and enjoy!

Super tasty and extremely refreshing, this cold cucumber soup is the perfect dish to cool you down during those hot summer days. Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian summer soup, which can be found on the menu of many restaurants and diners. It’s actually a chilled soup, though some people prefer to call it a liquid salad, which really does work well on the pallet. The soup is very easy to prepare and it can be on the table within minutes…

Foods Of The World – Hungary – Chilled Sour Cherry Soup

Chilled sour cherry soup from ingenious cooking

*By Nori

Last week I promised Agata a traditional Hungarian summer dish, and here it comes.

I started blogging about food and nutrition when I found myself living on a restricted diet, so I tried to find a dish that is easily transferable to my present lifestyle without losing the original experience.

Sour cherry soup, served chilled in the summer heat is one of our most common dishes in Hungary. It’s very easy and quick to prepare, a real refreshing starter on a hot afternoon, and… every child loves it for its slight sweetness. It was one of my childhood favorites, and that is something to say as I was a very, very picky eater.

My husband and me both enjoy being in an international environment and meeting new people, so we had quite some CouchSurfers stay with us for a couple of days. Of course, I always tried to welcome them with a home-made, traditional Hungarian meal. At least, traditional for us: no, we didn’t always have goulash soup. Sour cherry soup was the simplest, yet the most controversial dish I’ve served for foreigners: it’s sweet, and still, we have it as a starter, not dessert and yes, we serve it chilled, not hot during the main meal of the day (lunch).

And, at last, I chose to share this very simple recipe with you because it’s very versatile: easily compatible with any diet, and there are lots of options to give it a twist. You can also make it all year around with fresh or canned cherries, as well. I’ll share some tips below the recipe!

Chilled sour cherry soup

Ingredients for approx. 8 servings:

  • 1 kg or 2 pounds of sour cherries, pitted (fresh or canned)
  • 1 piece of clove
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon (about 1×1 cm)
  • 2 tablespoons of xylitol, sugar, or other sweetener to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of corn or tapioca starch*
  • ½ cup of yogurt or plant (soya) based yogurt*

* Obviously, the traditional recipe does not use starches, but plain wheat flour and sour cream instead. The flour only plays a role in the texture of the soup, so this change makes no difference, while this way this dish becomes gluten free. I substituted the sour cream with yogurt because I’ve discovered during my travels that sour cream is not as common in other countries, but yogurt should be available for everyone. A plant based yogurt can turn this soup into a dairy free, vegan dish.

1. Just simply put the cherries in a big dish, pour in approx. 1.5 liter cold water, drop in the clove and cinnamon pieces, lemon juice, your sweetener of choice and start heating.

2. In a small bowl, mix the yogurt and the starch until smooth. Once the soup is really hot, almost boiling, take about a cup of the juice out f the pot and mix it well with the yogurt and starch.

3. Now pour the starchy mixture to the rest of the soup, boil it for only a couple of seconds and take the soup off the heat. (It’s important not to leave it boiling so the cherries stay crisp.)

4. Chill it in the refrigerator and serve.

Serving options:

You can add some more yogurt (or sour cream), whipped cream or even vanilla ice cream when serving and it still remains a starter – however, you can have some more for dessert, if you like…

My favorite twist on this recipe was when I had it in a restaurant served with mint flavored whipped cream: you can also make this at home by adding some mint extract to the cream before whipping it up.

I hope you enjoyed this very simple Hungarian recipe and try it this summer. Enjoy!

If you liked this post please visit my blog at www.ingeniouscooking.com and follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Chilled Sour Cherry Soup fron Nori

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