Chilled yoghurt soup with cucumber, currants & walnuts

Chilled yoghurt soup with cucumber, currants & walnuts

New Feast
Alan Benson

We make no secret of our yoghurt addiction and are completely in accord with the Middle Easterner’s use of thinned yoghurt as a thirst-quencher on a baking hot summer’s day.

As well as a drink, yoghurt is also used as a base for icy-cold summer soups – especially, we’ve found, in Iran and in Turkey. Some chilled versions are little more than garlicky purees of cucumber, yoghurt and herbs, while others are thickened with ground nuts or lavishly garnished with dried fruits and rose petals (see our recipe in our book, Saraban).

We find that chilled soups are somewhat diminished if they are pureed too finely so, to keep some body, in addition to the chopped walnuts and currants, we grate, rather than puree the cucumber. This soup is delicious served with warm or grilled bread. The garnishes look extremely pretty, but are all optional.


Quantity Ingredient
3 lebanese cucumbers, peeled
1 small garlic clove, crushed with 1 teaspoon sea salt
800g greek-style yoghurt
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves
2 tablespoons finely snipped chives
1 tablespoon chopped chervil sprigs
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
40g finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons currants
300ml icy-cold water
squeeze lemon juice
pistachio or radish slivers, rose petals, sumac or even a pinch of turkish red chilli flakes, to serve (all optional)


  1. Split the cucumbers lengthways and scoop out and discard the seeds. Grate the cucumber coarsely into a colander set on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk the garlic paste into the yoghurt until evenly distributed, then whisk in the herbs.
  3. Squeeze the grated cucumber firmly to remove as much moisture as you can, then stir into the yoghurt. Season with the pepper and salt and chill for at least 1 hour to let the flavours develop.
  4. Just before serving, stir the walnuts and currants into the yoghurt and whisk in enough of the icy-cold water to achieve a soupy consistency – you may not need it all. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice, then taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
  5. Sprinkle with pistachios, rose petals, radish or other garnishes as you please, and serve straight away.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again