Simple Sustenance: Simple and Refreshing — Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup with Mint Oil
by Renu Chhabra
Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.–Hippocrates
On warm days we crave cool and refreshing dishes; recipes that require minimum or no cooking to avoid heating up the kitchen seem most desirable. Salads, smoothies, cold soups, and sandwiches take center stage to make our lives a little easier.
One such recipe I enjoy a lot on warm days is cold yogurt soup. With the possibility of several variations, it is always a welcome relief to beat the heat. It is simple and refreshing with no cooking at all, which is always an added bonus when temperatures soar. Moreover, the health benefits of yogurt make it even more worthwhile. It’s good for digestion, and is a powerhouse of beneficial bacteria. But I say it is a “do-good” friend, and I enjoy it everyday.
This soup is a healthy package of good ingredients served in a bowl. Creamy yogurt is mixed with crisp cucumber, and mint oil is drizzled on top. Finally, it is garnished with roasted sunflower seeds. A pinch of cumin and a couple grinds of pink Himalayan salt completes the soup. It’s perfect for warm days with your favorite salad and a slice of hearty bread. Mint oil adds a very fresh and flavorful touch, and roasted sunflower seeds give an earthy bite to it.
RecipeSee French/British/American equivalents in our metric converter.
Mint Oil1/4-1/2 cup neutral oil
20-22 leaves of fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, leaves only
Salt to taste
Soup16 oz. plain yogurt
2 small Persian cucumbers, diced small
Salt to taste
Pinch of ground cumin plus for garnish
Roasted sunflower seeds for garnish
Himalayan pink salt (optional)
For mint oil:
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside to let flavors imbibe.
This recipe is more than you will need for the soup. Save the remaining oil in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be used in salads, grains, pastas, or as a dipping oil with bread.
- Whisk yogurt in a bowl until smooth.
- Add cucumber, salt to taste; add a pinch of cumin.
- Add salt just before serving; otherwise cucumber releases water.
- Pour into serving bowls.
- Drizzle mint oil to taste.
- Garnish with a few pieces of cucumber, sunflower seeds and a pinch of cumin.
- Finish off with a few grinds of pink salt, if using.
- Serve cold.