I'd like to say a quick but heartfelt thank you to all of you, my dearest readers, for the wonderful show of support for both Lazaro and myself, when I did a guest post over at Lazaro Cooks. Thank you for all your delightful and heartwarming comments! I hope that having had a taste of Lazaro's genius, you will now follow his marvellous kitchen exploits! And now, on to today's post :

Jenn from Defunkt Gourmet and I, share an obsession. Yoghurt. It's always in my fridge and I cook and bake with it, as often as I eat mounds of it, sometimes drizzled with maple syrup or honey, the thicker, the better, sometimes, just as it is. There is something to be said for the clean, pure, almost ascerbic taste of yoghurt. It cools, cleans and refreshes the palate, like nothing else I know.

I don't however, like lowfat or nonfat yoghurt. There is something mean, even fraudulent about it. I can't explain it, but I've had it once and I don't intend returning. So, when I do use it, it will always be full fat. Did you know, that there is such a thing as 10% milk fat yoghurt? I would not have believed it, had I not seen it myself. That may be too much of a good thing, but it's nice to know such a wonder exists, waiting for me to partake, if I so wish.

Yoghurt in this part of the world, where it's hot and humid almost every day of the year, makes so much sense. This year, it's been a little hotter than usual, so hot, that I've had two breakouts of heatrash in three weeks. Yoghurt has been featuring more and more, in my kitchen and cooking has been avoided as far as it's possible to get away with, when you have six people to feed, thrice a day, every day.

Instead, I've been flirting outrageously with store bought rotisserie chicken, lightly flavoured slowcooked dishes (thanks Zibi!), rapidly grilled fish and shellfish, salads, chilled desserts, and cold soups. I've made this particular soup four times the last 2 weeks. The combination of cucumber, yoghurt and mint, thoroughly chilled is almost glacial! The cool, tingly burn of mint on the tongue is pure delight! Each time I've slurped it gratefully, I've had fantasies of filling the tub with it and diving in, to cool my heat flushed skin!

The ingredients are, I think, what most people who do any amount of cooking, would have in their kitchens.The inspiration for it actually came from my love of Tzatziki, which I eat often, as a dip for vegetables and shards of flat bread, by the spoonful, or piled on my plate, beside roasted or grilled meat and fish. I thought it would make a simple but sublime soup if thinned down a little and enlivened with mint instead of the usual dill. Try this for yourself and see if you agree with me.

Prep 10 mins     Chill 2 hours      Serves 2 - 3


2 Japanese cucumbers, cut into chunks
200 ml (1 cup) yoghurt - I used full fat but go with low fat if you prefer
1 cup water
15 large fresh mint leaves (adjust to your taste)
2 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper (or to taste)
Small amount paprika to garnish
Small amount extra virgin olive oil to garnish
A few extra sprigs fresh mint to garnish
A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)


Combine cucumbers, yoghurt, water, mint leaves, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender and process until very smooth.

Transfer mixture to a covered container and chill at least 2 hours to allow flavours to develop and mellow.

Serve in bowls garnished with paprika, olive oil and mint sprigs. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like. This goes very nicely with crusty flat bread.


Note on Japanese Cucumbers : I love this very slim variety of cucumber for it's dark green colour, thin skin and extremely small and unobstrusive seeds. It has a wonderful snap and crunch and is loaded with refreshing juice devoid of any bitterness. It comes from Japan, hence the name but use whatever variety is available to you, as long as you enjoy it.