Cool as a Cucumber

Tarator: Bulgarian Summer Soup

If you are Bulgarian, you do not need a recipe for tarator, the ubiquitous summer cucumber soup. If you’ve been to Bulgaria in the summertime, you have most certainly eaten tarator and probably have figured out the recipe on your own. It never hurts to start with a good plan, though—so we are pleased to share our recipe for tarator.

Try serving tarator with elderflower cucumber cocktail.


2 C. European-style yogurt, plain
1 C. Water
1 Cucumber, diced very small
2 Cloves of garlic, minced fine
3 T. Extra virgin olive oil
1 t. Salt
1/3 C. Walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
1/3 C. Fresh dill, minced


  1. Place the garlic in a mortar with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and mash to a paste.
  2. Place the yogurt in a large bowl. Stir in the oil, garlic, half of the minced dill, and half of the chopped walnuts. Whisk in the water. Add salt to taste. Chill for one hour or longer.
  3. Meanwhile, season the cucumbers lightly with salt, and allow to drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Add to the yogurt mixture and stir together.
  4. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top with chopped walnuts, a drizzle of olive oil if desired, and a sprinkling of dill.

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