Here is a chilled, summer soup to enjoy on the hottest of days. Tarator authentic Bulgarian yogurt soup is full of cooling ingredients like cucumber, dill and yogurt. It is certainly quick and easy to make. Five minutes and you have a classy lunch or a great first course on a warm evening. No cooking involved, except for the dry roasting of the walnut topping.
Don’t care for summer, chilled soups? I must admit that I don’t order chilled soups when I have the chance. I have always thought of my soups as being hot and filling and maybe I have had a mental block about cold soups. But, I finally relented on a warm summer’s day following a spectacular hike in the Pirin Mountains of Bulgaria. Of course, I ordered tarator authentic Bulgarian yogurt soup and since then I have been hooked.
Yogurt? Bulgaria? Yes, that’s right. Bulgaria is renowned for its yogurt.
Like its neighbors, Greece and Turkey, it knows how to make yogurt and it is delicious. One of the joys of traveling in this region is to enjoy all of the different ways in which yogurt is used and even cooked with. While we always hear about Greek yogurt, less is known about the Turkish and Bulgarian varieties. Today we spend some time in the lead up to the recipe by discussing the virtues of Bulgarian yogurt.
Bulgarian Yogurt is Unique
Bulgarian yogurt is different. Lactobacillis Bulgaricus is the bacterium used in the production of Bulgarian yogurt. It is only found naturally in Bulgaria. Lactobacillis Bulgaricus is the only bacterium known not to damage the human organism in any way. That is a big claim and I don’t profess to know the science of it all.
I can tell you Bulgarian yogurt is brilliant. It forms a big part of the Bulgarian diet and it is a contributing factor to why people in the rural regions of Bulgaria are long living. The bacterium is now used throughout the world in the production of yogurt
What I found fascinating about Bulgaria was how often yogurt was used as a cooking ingredient. For example, moussaka, is topped and cooked with yogurt.
Naturally, today’s recipe features yogurt. It is not the first time we have featured yogurt soup. In Turkey, where winters are cold, we enjoyed a hot version of yogurt soup. If you want to see thick, Turkish, yogurt check out the first picture in the post.
But today’s recipe is of the chilled and refreshing variety.
Tarator Authentic Bulgarian Yogurt Soup
These simple ingredients make a refreshing summer soup you will love. It is a good idea to peel the cucumber. I like the small, Lebanese variety but any cucumber is fine.
As for the yogurt, Bulgarian yogurt may not be at your local delicatessen. If you find Turkish yogurt then use it instead. It is thick and creamy. Failing that go for plain, Greek yogurt.
Although not traditional, I like to top the soup with dry roasted crushed walnuts.