Here is a refreshing soup for the dog days of summer, when temperatures approach the triple digits and the heat feels inescapable. Yogurt provides a cool and tangy backdrop for the quenching, fresh bitterness of the cucumber, and golden raisins and toasted walnuts add exotic notes of sweetness and a nutty, toasty complexity. I love the tartness of sumac as a garnish, but it is certainly not required. Think cool creeks, cold compresses, gauzy white dresses, shady picnic spots, and keep a big jar of this in the fridge, and we’ll all get though summer together.
Persian Cucumber Soup with Walnuts & Yogurt
2 large cucumbers, seeded, peeled and cut into fine dice
2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. golden raisins, chopped to fine dice
1/4 c. walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
3 scallions, white part only, finely chopped
1/4 c. Italian parsley, finely chopped
small handful chives, minced
1 stalk of dill, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 c. ice cold water (depending on thickness of yogurt)
sumac & organic rose petals to garnish (optional)
Combine cucumber, yogurt, raisins, walnuts, scallions, parsley, chives, and dill in a large bowl. Stir in ice water to make a soupy, spoonable consistency. Season to taste with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Pour into a large jar and refrigerate for several hours. To serve, ladle into small bowls or cups and garnish with sumac and rose petals.