Classic Bulgarian Summer Soup: Tarator! Класически таратор!

Classic Bulgarian Summer Soup: Tarator! Класически таратор!

If you have been following my blog then you know that I recently spent almost 4 years in Bulgaria.  It is a beautiful and complex country with a fascinating mix of Eastern and Western culture.  The arts are highly regarded there and if you enjoy nature, you have everything that you could hope to see in one country.  Here’s a shot of my daughter and her friend when we visited the beautiful Seven Rila Lakes.

7 rila lakes

While I loved many things about living there, one of my favorite aspects was the cuisine.  It is very simple, fresh food made with the best ingredients. When I first arrived there, I had a friend take me out to eat and she suggested that I try a soup made from yogurt called Tarator (or Таратор, in Bulgarian).  My only experience with yogurt was in the US and they were mostly sweetened so that is what I had in mind when I took a sip.  Tarator is definitely not sweet!

I’d never tasted anything like it before and I realized that I liked this soup. It was fresh and delicious and perfect to take in on a hot day.  It’s a cold soup and the main ingredients are yogurt and cucumber.  The other wonderful thing about this soup is that it is incredibly fast and easy to make.  If your only experience with cold summer soup is Gazpacho, this is definitely one to try.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups or 500 grams of full fat Greek yogurt (Sorry, Greece…Bulgarian yogurt is better but not as widely available)
  • 1 cup or 128 grams of cucumbers diced or shredded (peel the cucumber first)photo (43)
  • 1 & 1/4 cup or 160 grams of water
  • 2 tbs or 30 milliliters of sour cream
  • 1 tsp or 5 milligrams of Himalayan salt or fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp or 5 milliliters of white vinegar
  • 2 tbs or 30 milliliters of olive oil
  • 1 tsp or 5 milligrams of dill (you can also use fresh)
  • 1 tsp or 5 milliligrams of garlic powder (you can use fresh, too)
  • Handful of fresh, crushed, raw walnuts


Mix all ingredients and sprinkle some fresh walnuts on before serving. My addition of the sour cream makes it less authentic but I like it because it gives the soup a little richer flavor and texture. Enjoy!

photo (42)-002

Live well and be happy!




8 Responses »

  1. Hi!! Plan to make some today!! Good memories and thanks for reminding me ..I’ve wanted to make some and then I forgot and NOW is the time! YAY!!

  2. Made some tonight and we are having a dozen folks over tomorrow for a BG dinner… I will add the vinegar and salt..maybe that is why it didnt turn out as I remembered it.. BUT the cucumbers are not as sweet as if you picked them off the vine in the back yard!! Hope your recipe will improve what I did today.. will let you know!

    • Yes, the salt and vinegar are necessary. Greek yogurt is probably the closest you’ll come to getting the taste you got in BG. I’ve done it with just plain yogurt and it’s ok but not quite the same. Good luck!!

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