Chilled Yogurt and Cucumber Soup

Chilled Yogurt and Cucumber Soup

One of the better soups I’ve had in my life is one from a nice Persian couple that worked for back in the late 80′s. They owned a little kebab place in the Ohio Convention Center, but they often made food that was not on the menu board and gave their employees tastes of their homelands.

One day, they offered me a soup that was pastey white. When I asked what it was, they said to taste first, and then they’d tell me. As the spoon entered my mouth, it was clear that it was made from yogurt, as well as lemon, mint and pepper. It carried the herbs and spices so well that I was surprised that this dish wasn’t better loved. When I asked why they didn’t tell me what kind of soup, they smiled at me and said “Americans do not know that yogurt makes a good soup”.

Yogurt soup is not an uncommon dish. It’s simply an uncommon dish here in the United States. Done well, the yogurt becomes the vehicle in which other tastes are delivered.

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups unflavored yogurt
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Salt and (white) pepper, to taste
  • 6 ice cubes
  • fresh dill, chopped

In a small bowl, place the raisins and cover with cold water. Allow to set for 5 minutes.

Place the yogurt in a large mixing bowl. Add the half & half and ice water and stir in slowly but thoroughly.

Drain the raisins. Add them to the yogurt along with the walnuts, cucumbers and scallions. Flavor with the salt and pepper.

Stir in the ice cubes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Serve in the bowl and sprinkle the freshly chopped dill on top.

Serves 4

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