Abdoogh Khiar (Chilled Buttermilk Cucumber Soup)
This beautiful and simple classic Iranian cold soup is destined for those hot summer days when all you want to do is pull up a chair inside the fridge. Doogh refers to the buttermilk that comes from the process of churning yogurt butter, but this dish is often prepared with a mixture of yogurt and water. Here, tangy, creamy buttermilk is blended with plain yogurt for a soup with extra body. An array of cooling, crunchy, sweet and savory ingredients are then added to the base, along with herbs and spices for a refreshing, satisfying meal. To get vegetarian recipes like this one delivered to your inbox, sign up for The Veggie newsletter.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1teaspoon dried edible Damask rose petals (optional; see Tip)
- 2cups buttermilk, plus more if desired
- ½cup plain yogurt
- Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 3Persian cucumbers (7 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces, plus more for garnish
- ⅓cup golden or black raisins, plus more for garnish
- ¼cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
- ¼cup finely chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish
- ¼cup finely chopped chives or green onion
- 1teaspoon dried mint, plus more for garnish
- ½lavash rectangle or 1 large slice bread of choice (such as sourdough)
- 4ice cubes
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Step 1If using dried rose, crumble a few petals coarsely for garnish and set aside. Place the rest on a cutting board and chop as finely as possible.
Step 2Place the buttermilk, yogurt and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender and blend until frothy, about 30 seconds, or whisk together in a large bowl until smooth and frothy. If you used a blender, pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, raisins, walnuts, dill, chives, dried mint and 1/4 teaspoon of the finely chopped rose petals. Stir well to combine and season to taste with more salt. Cover and refrigerate to chill and allow the flavors to come to life, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Step 3Just before serving, toast the lavash or bread until crisp but not burned, and break into pieces. Stir the soup to mix. It should be the consistency of a thin, runny soup. If it’s too thick, thin it out with water or more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep in mind that you will be adding ice cubes, which will also thin out the soup as they melt. Divide the soup among serving bowls and add the ice cubes. Garnish the top as creatively as you like with crumbled dried rose petals, cucumber, dried mint, dill sprigs, raisins, walnuts and fresh mint leaves. Add the bread pieces right before serving or serve on the side.