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…

World Cucumber Day – Cats vs Cucumber

The cucumber biologically speaking is a creeping vine that bears cylindrical fruits that are widely used as culinary vegetable. It’s just a fruit used as a veg so how come over a third of cats on the planet has an irrational fear of cucumbers?

The cucumber biologically speaking is a creeping vine that bears cylindrical fruits that are widely used as culinary vegetable. It’s just a fruit used as a veg so how come over a third of cats on the planet has an irrational fear of cucumbers? Hendrick's Gin enlisted the help of animal behaviourist Dr Roger Mugford to create a fool-proof cucumber exposure programme to help our feline friends cope with this irrational fear.Hendrick’s Gin enlisted the help of animal behaviourist Dr Roger Mugford to create a fool-proof cucumber exposure programme to help our feline friends cope with this irrational fear.

According to Dr Mugford, the suspicious nature of cats is what leads to the innate fear of the mighty cucumber – the oddness and unusual persona of the green fruit makes them feel uneasy.

Have you ever seen any of the “cats Vs cucumber” videos on YouTube? They are simply hilarious! I love my cats and I would never test them versus a cucumber but I have to admit that the reaction of some cats is simple unreal, have a look:

Funny isn’t it?

At this point you might ask why Hendrick’s Gin is spending its time trying to get to the bottom of a cats fear of cucumbers. Well:

“The cucumber is at the core of our gin, which is oddly infused with cucumber itself, the gin that is, not the cucumber – a cucumber is wholly made of cucumber”, says David Piper, Hendrick’s Global Brand Ambassador. “Cats have an illogical fear of cucumbers – so as inventors of the cucumber garnish, we have to act responsibly and ensure cats feel at ease as we enjoy our Hendrick’s libations garnished, of course, with a cucumber, on World Cucumber Day. Did I mention the importance of cucumbers?”

Hendrick’s Gin created their own cats versus cucumbers video which is full of tips on how to keep your cat calm and comfortable on this World Cucumber Day.

So when it comes to cucumbers, cat friendly tips include:

  1. Storing cats away from cucumbers
  2. Play some suitably serene music to help cats relax and forget about cucumbers
  3. Incremental exposure may acclimatise cats to cucumbers – limiting their fear
  4. Disguise a cucumber for feline use (for example put it into a paper bag and let them discover it themselves in their own time)
  5. Try not to appear frightened yourself when confronted by a cucumber – the more loyal cats out there may jump to your defence
  6. Rest assured that once the cucumber is submerged in a Hendrick’s and tonic, cats will not experience anxiety of any kind

I hope you will find these tips useful! After all we all love a good laugh but as responsible pet owners we do have to take the wellbeing of our cats into consideration too.

Have a wonderful World Cucumber Day!