It’s September 28th and summer is slowly starting to come to an end in Toronto. Temperatures dropped from 30+ Celsius to almost 12 last night but the weather forecast still predicts some heat waves in the upcoming week. As someone, who’s had her fair share of the sweats this past month – I legit got a minor heat stroke the other day, while attempting to walk to St Lawrence for some fresh taco shells – I decided to bless you with a recipe that has been a constant in my summer routine, since before I can remember – Tarator!
Tarator is a Bulgarian summer soup – also present in other Eastern European cuisines – which uses yoghurt as its base ingredient. It’s light, refreshing and perfectly paired with a freshly baked loaf of bread and a glass of white (in my books, at least). The key to achieving this soup is finding the right type of yoghurt, and seeing that I’m not back home, I had to find the perfect substitute to my beloved Bulgarian brand. Enter Astro Original “Balkan” Yoghurt – the closest thing to the taste of my childhood, equally as rich, creamy and with a bit of a sour kick.
And while this “soup” is meant to be enjoyed in the midst of a hot summer day, I must admit that I crave it once in awhile, in the dead of winter, while wrapped up in a warm blanket. So without further ado, read on below for my twist on this recipe:
- 1 tub of Astro Balkan Yoghurt
- 1 cucumber
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pine Nuts (traditionally, walnuts)
- Sourdough bread
In a large bowl, grate the cucumber and add a generous amount of salt. Pour the yoghurt contents into the bowl and keep stirring, while adding cold (preferably, distilled) water into the mix. Keep adding water until you reach desired consistency, but watch that you don’t water it down – I like mine a bit thicker. Once you’ve reached that consistency, use a garlic press to process the cloves and add to your mixture; add salt, a touch of black pepper and a splash of the olive oil, while continuously tasting. Garnish with chopped dill and some roasted pine nuts (we use ground, or chopped, walnuts in Bulgaria but I decided to give it a bit of a nuttier spin and it wasn’t bad at all).
Slice and toast the bread – I recommend throwing it on a hot grill or grill cast iron pan for a bit of a smokey flavour – or feel free to leave the carbs and enjoy on its own with a cold beverage!
Disclaimer: Please note, this is not an ad for Astro yoghurt. These are my own personal views and I truly believe that I’ve found a yoghurt, that closely resembles taste of my beloved, Bulgarian product.