Cold Cucumber Soup (Tarator)

Authentic family recipe for a light cold cucumber soup (called Tarator) with plain greek yogurt and cucumbers. This refreshing summer soup requires no stove top or oven. It can be prepared in a matter of minutes. It’s often described as ‘liquid Tzatziki’, so if you want, called it a Tzatziki Soup.

Cold Cucumber soup with plain greek yogurt - authentic recipe from the Balkans

Refreshing Greek yogurt soup with cucumbers, nuts, olive oil, and dill, this cold soup is the perfect quick light dinner meal for the family. The cucumber soup is a popular dish across many European countries. Each country however has its variations. In Poland and Lithuania for example, the cucumber soup is made with pickles and rice or even potatoes. It requires cooking on the stove. Today’s cold cucumber soup however is an authentic recipe from the Balkans, where summers are hot and one opts for quick and refreshing dinner options. Called Tarator (in Bulgaria), this cold cucumber yogurt soup is a family favorite. It’s often described as ‘liquid Tzatziki’, so if you will, called it a Tzatziki Soup. We enjoy it almost every week. Hope you like it too.

Cold Cucumber Soup (Tarator/Liquid Tzatziki) – Ingredients

  1. Greek Yogurt, plain – it’s necessary to choose a plain Greek Yogurt (like Dannon Greek Yogurt) with no extra sugar or other additives. Plain Greek yogurt usually contains cow’s milk and ferments. Due to its live and active cultures, it’s deemed especially healthy for the gut.
  2. Cucumberpeeled and cut into tiny cubes. You can slice it into circles if desired.
  3. Dill – fresh or dried, dill is an excellent addition to this cold soup. You can use frozen dill as well.
  4. Olive oil, extra virgin – olive oil adds an extra touch to the soup.
  5. Garlic, optional – use fresh or dried cloves of garlic, minced in a garlic press/by hand.
  6. Walnuts – the authentic recipe requires chopped walnuts, however, all types of nuts (like almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts) are a great substitute.
  7. Pinch of salt – a necessary addition to this soup, add according to taste.
Cold Cucumber Soup - light summer recipe with plain Greek Yogurt and Dill for a quick dinner under 30 minutes

Is greek yogurt dairy?

Greek yogurt is considered a protein-rich dairy product. Thus, in its natural state, it contains lactose. However, if you are lactose intolerant, there are many lactose-free yogurt options on the market, depending on where you live.

How long does greek yogurt last?

Usually, the ‘life’ of an open Yogurt Jar should be specified on the packaging (In Europe that is strictly regulated by law). In general, plain greek yogurt (with no added sugar and aromas) can last from 48 up to 72+ hours without losing any of its nutritional value, depending on storage conditions (like light, temperature, ect.). In most cases, plain Greek Yogurt is good for consumption even a few days after the expiration date. It gets a bit sour though due to the fermentation processes and live cultures. Greek Yogurt tends to create a liquid (lightly yellow-ish usually) once opened which is fine as long as it’s not too much. In general, Greek Yogurt that is preserved in a glass jar takes much longer to go bad than Yogurt kept in plastic containers.

Authentic Cold Cucumber Soup (called Tarator) with Plain Greek Yogurt - light and quick summer soup that requires no cooking on the stove or oven. Called Tarator or Liquid Tzatziki as well.
Cold Cucumber Soup - light summer recipe with plain Greek Yogurt and Dill for a quick dinner under 30 minutes

Cold Cucumber Soup (Tarator / Liquid Tzatziki)

Light and quick (no cooking required!) cold cucumber soup with greek yogurt, cucumbers, dill, olive oil and nuts.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bulgarian,
Servings 2 people


  • 1 cucumber, medium size
  • 15 oz (400g) plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cloves garlic optional
  • 1 tbsp olive oil exstra virgin
  • 1 tsp dill (fresh/dried) finely minced
  • a handful of chopped walnuts (or other nuts) to taste
  • pinch of salt to taste


  • Wash cucumber and peel (if not organic). Then cut into small cubes and set aside. Then chop walnuts and dill (if using fresh).
  • In a soup bowl, combine plain Greek Yogurt, minced cucumber, dill, walnuts. Stir. Then add olive oil, minced garlic (optional) and salt. Mix well and distribute in smaller soup bowls. Enjoy!
Keyword Soup
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