Cold Bulgarian Cucumber Soup

Let’s face it, gazpacho has had it’s heyday. It’d be nice to have something other than that in our wheelhouse of cold soup offerings. And this deliciously crisp, garlicky and dilly soup will certainly stand out amongst the gazpacho-weary crowd. This soup sings with fresh ingredients, a multitude of textures and a flavor that defies description.

We won’t be heating any of the ingredients for this soup, so it will need some time to mellow and combine in the ice box. Overnight is preferred, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to leave it in an additional day. Although we’ve barely been able to restrain ourselves from eating it for breakfast when we make it.

The cucumbers are peeled seeded and chopped for this recipe. But you could leave them unpeeled or drag a fork down the sides to create a striped pattern. You could also peel strips off the cucumber, alternating between unpeeled lines and peeled lines. Since the soup portion is Greek yogurt, you won’t be able to see the designs on the cucumbers, but you will be able to feel the different textures.

The seeds and the jelly-like matrix that holds them in place does have to come out. Very few recipes call for whole cucumbers since they contain so much water in their flesh, and that, along with the seeds will turn most dishes into a watery, soggy mess. So don’t skip this step. We’ll be leaving these cucumbers in decent size cubes, a little larger is better. With less surface area, we won’t have to worry so much about the liquid in the flesh escaping into the surrounding yogurt bath. Indeed, it is the sheer amount of water in the cucumber’s flesh that makes this soup so light and refreshing. Once fully mixed, however, you do have a finite amount of time in which to eat it which amounts to about 3 days. After that, between the cucumbers releasing their water and the yogurt separating, the soup loses its flavor and appeal.

Trust us, though. It won’t last that long.

Served either by itself, or accompanied by a cold-cut sandwich, this soup is the perfect refreshing meal on a warm summer’s night. It also makes a perfect hearty and savory breakfast alternative to sugary-sweet yogurt cups. Just consider who you’ll be spending the day with since you’ll have just consumed raw garlic for breakfast. If you’re job is fighting vampires, or simply working with animals or mostly by yourself, this is the breakfast soup for you.

Cold Bulgarian Cucumber Soup

  •  2-3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, diced
  • 1 cup rough chopped pecans
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • fresh ground kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1½ – 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup chicken broth, if desired 

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients except the yogurt and chicken broth in a glass bowl using a metal spoon or silicone spatula. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the ingredients to marinate.

Stir in the yogurt, thinning with the chicken broth to the desired consistency. Garnish with dill fronds. Serve immediately.