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Chilled yogurt and saffron soup (Khatyk shurva va zafaran)

Updated: May 26, 2022

This is a loaded chilled yogurt soup. Usually yogurt soups are subtle and tend to be plain, not in this case.

Yogurt is one of the most cooling ingredients for hot weather. They also are great at replenishing the gut bacteria, hydration and improving digestion. There are loads of drinks, curries, and soups made from yogurt each of them perfect for the occasion.

This soup is of Russian origin but now seen all over the Uzbek region. Brought over by the nomadic tribes this soup has established itself in the region as a standard.

This soup is a beautiful blend of flavors for those hot days. The yogurt is infused with spice from the radish and herbs and the yolks give it a creamy texture. However, the infusion of saffron makes it a luxury soup, so out of the ordinary. The aroma and smoothness of the soup make it phenomenal, one that I will make agian soon.

This is a wonderful cookbook of vegetarian and vegan dishes from across the Middle East. It is packed with delicious recipes, like this one, and the author brings the recipes to life with bold and vibrant flavors. Each recipe has a history and introduction to it, so you are learning about the dish as well as the culture of the land from where it is from. This is the perfect cookbook for those who want to experience these cuisines and is perfect for today's healthy lifestyle.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


3 cups plain or Greek yogurt

4 hard-boiled egg yolks

1 small (1/4 cup) white radish, peeled and cubed

1 small cucumber, peeled and cubed

3 scallions, roots trimmed

1 waxy potato, boiled, peeled and cubed

2 tablespoons mix of dill and cilantro, minced

A generous pinch saffron threads

2 teaspoons grainy mustard

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Add the yogurt, yolks, radish, cucumber, scallions, potato and half the herbs and purée in a small blender till smooth. Pour into a bowl, you may want to strain it through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any bits and pieces that did not get puréed for a smoother texture. Mix in the saffron, mustard, balsamic, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust salt. Chill for 3-4 hours.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Garnish with a strand of saffron and some herbs. Serve chilled.

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