Tarator is a Bulgarian cold soup made with yogurt and cucumbers. My version is also served with walnuts, dill, and red pepper. This soup is perfect for a light meal in the heat of summertime and would be delicious with a slice of crusty bread!
Bulgarians are HELLA proud of their yogurt, my friends. When I say proud, I don’t mean they’re like “hey look how cool this yogurt is” proud. I mean they’re like “yo, our yogurt rocks” proud. I mean they’re like “dudes, our yogurt is the literal best thing that has been made on planet earth” proud. And they’re not wrong!
How is Bulgarian Yogurt Different?
So Bulgarian yogurt is (obviously, based on the pride) different than most yogurts. First of all, the yogurt needs to be made with the Lactobacillus bulgaricus and the Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria. These two strains of bacteria are what gives the Bulgarian yogurt its classic taste, a taste that’s identifiable as Bulgarian from yogurt enthusiasts around the world. Bulgarian yogurt is creamy, but not as thick as Greek yogurt. It is a bit more tart than normal yogurt because it is typically made with sheep’s milk, not cow’s milk. For a taste of true Bulgarian yogurt, click here.
Health Benefits of Bulgarian Yogurt
In addition to its distinct taste, Bulgarian yogurt is also special because of its health benefits. The livestock that are used to make the yogurt (sheep and sometimes cows) graze on the herb-rich fields in Bulgaria. The nutrients and vitamins that are in the herbs are then transferred into the dairy of the animals. Bulgarian yogurt is known to be incredibly healthy because of this! This is why most Bulgarians credit their yogurt for their longevity.
So it’s clear by now that Bulgarians love their yogurt. Clearly, I had to make something with it! One of the most famous yogurt dishes in Bulgaria is Tarator, a cold yogurt, cucumber soup. This soup is perfect for the dog days of summer, when the sun is hot and you want a refreshing, light lunch to cool down with. This soup would be perfect served with some crusty bread!
Red Pepper in your Tarator
I’ll be straightforward with you all… I made this recipe without the red pepper, and the yogurt taste was just a bit strong for my liking. This doesn’t mean it was bad… Just that I wasn’t a huge fan myself. When I added in the red pepper, the yogurt taste was cut juuuust enough, and suddenly, this soup was making me do a little happy dance!
Make sure to top the soup with olive oil, dill, and walnuts like I did! It makes the serving SO beautiful, and so much fun to eat!
If this soup made you happy dance like it did for me, I want you to let me know! Leave me a comment on this post, and post a photo to Facebook or Instagram tagging @TheForeignFork and hashtagging #TheForeignFork. If you liked this soup recipe, you’d also like this Thai Inspired Meatball Soup with Rice Noodles, this Borsht Soup from Belarus, or this Chickpea Stew from Algeria. Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! I can’t wait to keep cooking the rest of Bulgaria with you.
Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup (Bulgaria)
cucumbers. My version is also served with walnuts, dill, and red pepper. This
soup is perfect for a light meal in the heat of summertime and would be
delicious with a slice of crusty bread!
- 1 large cucumber , peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts, or more for garnishing
- 1 tbsp olive oil, or more for garnishing
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1 cup yogurt, plain, non-flavored
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste
- 1/3 red pepper , chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- Peel the cucumber and cut it the long way down the middle. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then, chop the cucumbers into 1/2 inch cubes.
- In a food processor or blender, blend the walnuts and olive oil together until very fine.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the water into the food processor.
- Pulse lightly so that the soup blends but does not becomes too fine.
- Add the water little by little until soup reaches desires consistency.
- Garnish soup with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped walnuts, and fresh dill. Enjoy!
- Leave a comment on this recipe to let me know what you thought.