Chilled Yogurt Soup from Afarsimon

Semi-successful recreation

Semi-successful recreation


This is a recipe that I have been attempting to perfect only from memory. A few years ago, I managed to recreate a soup I had frequently at a Persian dairy restaurant in Tel Aviv. Alas, I don’t remember exactly what I did. The place, Afarsimon (translated as persimmon), was a daily morning hangout for my grandfather and his friends. They would sit and drink coffee, gossip and kvetch about politics. When I was little, I would go for the strawberry milkshakes. When I grew older, I would go for this garlicky yogurt soup. It’s been at least twenty years since I ate at Afarsimon, so my memory could be deceiving me. I can’t remember if there was toasted cumin in it or not, but I do believe it was served with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika on top.

1 large English cucumber

2 cups plain yogurt. Greek is probably best, but you should use one with fat

3 crushed garlic cloves

the juice of half a lemon

a few sprigs of mint, minced (another option is dill, but The Man is not a fan)

generous salt to taste

olive oil and paprika for garnish      

Peel the cucumber and grate. Salt and leave in a colander for a bit, allowing to drain.

Beat the yogurt with the garlic, lemon juice and the mint. Add the cucumber and mix well. Taste and add salt as preferred. If it’s too thick add a wee bit of water.

This can be done in a blender/Vitamix, but you should at least slice and salt the cucumbers before blending with the additional ingredients. Also, it will be much thinner a soup if blended. 

Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.