Bulgarian Tarator...Cold Cucumber Soup(Gluten-Free)
Sometimes, I like to get out of my comfort zone and experience a dish that I've never tried before. Such was the case with this simple dish. I initially came across it on The Kitchn, and have seen it on other sites as well. The soup sounded so simple and yet so refreshing. On the spur of the moment, I decided to give it a try. I love tzatziki and this so much reminded me of it, except in soup form. There are a few versions of this Bulgarian Tarator soup. Some use a bit of bread to thicken the soup, some use just nuts, others use both bread and nuts to thicken and flavor the soup, while still others omit the bread and the nuts altogether. I decided to skip the bread and keep the nuts ... making this soup gluten-free. The process is quite simple, you grate, chop or blend all the ingredients and then thin it out with some water. I chose to grate my ingredients the first time around, but you can easily just blend/process the ingredients to a smooth consistency. After making it again, I ended up chopping the cucumber and nuts instead of grating it....albeit it was more like mincing the cucumber. I rather liked it minced....
This soup is often served during warm summer days when you want something light and refreshing(I am sorry I am posting it now, when Fall is here...but we've actually had some warm days recently and this soup was ideal). It can be a meal in itself or you can easily serve it as a starter to a meal. It's a different sort of soup...tart and tangy. But it's definitely quite healthy and full of flavor(without too many calories:)). Hope you enjoy...
You will need: adapted from The Kitchn
2 Persian cucumbers(about 5-6 inches long), grated or finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced( you can easily add more, if you like)
8 walnut halves, finely grated or minced (optional)
1 cup yoghurt( I love using Mountain High Yoghurt)
dill to taste, preferably fresh*
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
pinch or 2 of cayenne pepper, optional
oil, to taste( sunflower, walnut, etc....I used olive oil)
1/2 cup water(+/-), to thin out the soup
a pinch of sugar( totally optional, but I find it balances the tartness of the yoghurt)
* I 'm guessing if you don't like dill, you could probably substitute it with some mint, though I haven't tried that yet. And, I am not sure if it would still be called Tarator:)..it might be worth a try.
1. Grate the cucumbers, garlic and walnuts.
2. Add yoghurt and mix to combine.
3. Add seasoning( dill, salt, pepper and cayenne(if using))
4. Thin out the soup by adding some cold water. Drizzle a bit of oil(this brings it all together)
and mix again.
5. Adjust seasoning and refrigerate for at least half hour.
6. Serve with a sprinkle of extra chopped walnuts, dill and a few drops of oil.