Bulgarian Cucumber Soup – Tarator

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I discovered this Bulgarian cucumber soup recipe last summer, during a trip to Bulgaria with some of my friends. It was absolutely delicious and I knew I had to share it.

This soup also called Tarator, is a cold soup of Bulgarian origin that is made from cucumber, dill, garlic and yogurt. It is a very quick and easy recipe to prepare. The chill of the soup with the crunch of fresh cucumber makes it a perfect summer soup.

If cucumber is your thing, you can also give our lemon and cucumber smoothie a try. A refreshing drink that will pair beautifully with this soup on a hot summer day.

Cold bulgarian Soup recipe also called tarator

Turns out cold soups are becoming a favorite for the summer. It is definitely something I am looking into more recipes for as summer soups are a great alternative to heavy meals.

Cucumbers are an amazing vegetable that can be used in so many things.

How To Make Bulgarian Cucumber Soup?

Just some cucumber, salt, dill and yogurt are needed to make a basic Tarator soup. The salt will help the cucumber release some water and help dilute the yogurt mixture.

This recipe should not be confused with tatziki. Tatziki is definitely similar, but not the same dish. It is a “mezze”as they call it in Bulgaria. Its texture is much denser than that of the tarator and makes a great dip or sandwich condiment.

Which Yogurt Is Best For Tarator?

Your soup will be better with a true Bulgarian yogurt. But, if you can’t find any in your local grocery store, you can mix use plain yogurt, but go for a brand that is as creamy as possible.

Homemade Bulgarian Cucumber Soup Recipe (Tarator)

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people

cucumber soup ingredients


  • 2 cucumbers
  • 7 ounces Bulgarian natural organic or plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 ounces dill
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh filtered water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons crushed walnuts (optional)


Wash Cucumbers

Thoroughly wash cucumbers to remove traces of dirt and any pesticides that might exist.

Cut Cucumbers

Cut cucumbers into small pieces, leaving skin on.

Mix Ingredients

Place cucumbers in bowl with salt and crushed garlic cloves. Add yogurt and dill and mix until thoroughly combines.

Let Stand

Cover and let stand for 3-4 hours.


Add some cool water before serving until the soup has a soup like consistency. Top with walnuts if you prefer that option.

bulgarian Cold Tarator summer Soup recipe

As a side note, the amount of water you add to the soup will depend on the type of yogurt you use. Some yogurts are thicker than others, so thicker yogurts will require more water than others.

This recipe can also be topped with walnuts, which is a popular option. Personally, I prefer to not ruin that wonderful cucumber crunch.

fig preserves

Fig Preserves

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Add fig preserves to your rotation of yummy toppings for a unique flavorful treat.


  • 1 pound of figs, washed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of sherry
  • 1/4 cup of water


  1. Place the cut figs into a medium, non-reactive saucepan.
  2. Cover the figs with the sugar and stir.
  3. Allow the figs to sit coated with sugar for 15 minutes, and stir occasionally, until the sugar has been absorbed into the figs.
  4. Add sherry, lemon juice, and water.
  5. Stir while cooking over medium heat for about 20-25 minutes or until figs appear broken down and melting, and the syrup coats a spoon.
  6. Place in jars and cool before screwing on the lids.
  7. Store in the refrigerator.

So, have you given this traditional Bulgarian tarator recipe a try? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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