Monday, April 4, 2011

A Cold Yogurt and Cucumber Soup

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (can also use the seedless kind), see instructions below
4 cups plain whole or low-fat yogurt
¼ cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup water, more if your yogurt is very thick
salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup golden raisins, chopped if necessary
3 tablespoons dried rose petals, optional but so nice
Note: You can get these from a Middle Eastern store in your area. Zand’s on Solano in Albany, CA is good for Bay Area folks.
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 pita bread, cut into ½-inch squares and toasted, omit for your gluten-free guests

1. Combine the cucumber, yogurt, scallions, mint, dill, oregano, thyme, tarragon, garlic, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with 1 cup water and adjust the seasonings to taste.
2. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
3. Just before serving, add the walnuts and golden raisins. Pour into individual serving bowls and sprinkle with rose petals, fresh mint, and toasted pita squares.

6 servings as a first course
Adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij in The New York Times Food Section

How to peel and seed a cucumber

1. Cut off both ends of a cucumber and peel with a vegetable peeler.
2. Cut in half the long way.
3. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds.
4. You are now ready to proceed with slicing or chopping or whatever.

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