Cold Cucumber Soup

5 from 1 vote

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This cold cucumber soup is called “Tarator” in Bulgaria. You may also know it as “Cacik” (pronounced JAH-jek) in Turkey, or “Tzatziki” in Greece. The only difference between Tzatziki and Tarator is that we make ours with grated cucumber, yogurt, garlic, olive oil, dill, salt, and add cold water to thin it out. Tarator is a staple in Bulgaria that can be found on the menu in every restaurant, especially during the summer. This soup pairs perfectly with grilled meat, fish, veggies, cevapi (similar to kebabs), or it’s delicious on its own on a hot summer day. You will love this refreshing, healthy, and easy soup.

Cold Cucumber Soup

Tarator is a staple in Bulgaria that can be found on the menu in every restaurant, especially during the summer. It pairs perfectly with grilled meat, fish, veggies, cevapi (similar to kebabs), or it’s delicious on its own on a hot summer day.
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced or finely grated, (diced is traditional)
  • 1 container of plain yogurt , 750 grams
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups cold filtered water
  • chopped or crushed walnuts (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, add the cucumber, yogurt, salt, dill, and garlic and mix. Add in the cold water and mix until smooth. You can add more or less water, depending on the desired consistency. (You can also omit the water for a delicious dip.) Taste and season with more salt, as needed. Add a small drizzle of olive oil over the top of the soup.
  • Store the soup in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Some Bulgarians will add ice cubes before serving to make it EXTRA cold. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Use your favorite brand and style of plain yogurt. We like Balkan-style yogurt, Bulgarian yogurt, or Greek Yogurt
All the ingredient measurements in this recipe are a starting point; please add the quantities you desire, as everything is to taste
If you like your cold cucumber soup thicker, add less water and if you like it thinner, add more water. This dish is supposed to be enjoyed really cold, so some people like to add ice cubes and serve it right away. 
Fresh dill is key and should not be replaced.
Garlic should be minced so that you don’t get that pungent taste from large pieces. Add as much or as little garlic as you like. 
You can grate the cucumber on the smaller hole setting of a cheese grater or dice it finely. 
I added one 750g tub of yogurt to a bowl, and used that same container for the filtered water. I filled the yogurt container three quarters of the way with water. You can make it as thick or as thin as you like. 
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My mom and I made this today and it was so tasty! We halved the recipe. The fresh dill is key. We loved how all the different flavours come out. She preferred it as a salad and I mixed water in mine to make the soup. This definitely will be on repeat!