Mediterranean Cucumber Soup with Dill and Walnuts

Some things are just meant to be together-peanut butter & jelly, socks and shoes, Kurt and Goldie, and cucumbers & Dill. An American mainstay, cucumber seeds were brought to North America by European settlers in the late 16th century. The cucumber, however, is native to India, and at around 3,000 years old, it is one of the world’s oldest cultivars.

Cucumbers belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.  Other members of this family include watermelon, muskmelon, pumpkin, and squash. Some fun cucumber facts:

  • Cucumbers contain 96 percent water.
  • The inside of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than its outside.
  • One-half cup of sliced cucumbers contains only eight calories.
  • Fresh extracts from cucumbers have recently been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

When I was a kid, a cucumber is what my mom diced up and put on a salad. Since then, I’ve used them as crudités, made pickles out ’em, and I love them as under-eye pads for puffy eyes. But until now, I’ve never had them as the main star of a soup! You can also use them (in no particular order) to:

  • Got a slug or grub problem? Dice cucumbers and put them on an aluminum pan in the garden. The aluminum reacts with the cucumber and gives off a scent they don’t care for.
  • For their fiber and water, which helps fight constipation.
  • Got some funky bugs? They contain erepsin, an enzyme, which is known to kill tapeworms.
  • As a hangover cure because they have enough B vitamins, electrolytes, and sugar to replenish essential nutrients that alcohol absorbs from your body.
  • Reducing cellulite. Applying slices directly to the skin allows phytochemicals in cucumbers to tighten collagen for a firm complexion.
  • Grow long, beautiful hair. Cucumber juice provides silicon, sodium, calcium, sulfur, etc., all of which are nutrients needed for hair growth and hair strengthening.
  • Got a toddler? They can even remove crayons, markers, and pen marks on walls.

The other main ingredient in the soup is our friend, Dill. Dill, as we all know, is an herb. But did you know that it has health benefits that are almost too many to name? Dill is packed with flavonoids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. But that’s not the only reason Dill is thought to improve heart health. Research on animals shows that Dill can also reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Thank you, WebMD! Dill also:

  • Can help regulates Diabetes– The presence of bioactive ingredient Eugenol in dill leaves has potent anti-diabetic properties, which play a crucial role in alleviating the blood sugar levels within the body.
  • Promotes Digestion.
  • Fortifies Bone Health.
  • Prevents Infections.
  • Remedies Insomnia

Add in some heart-healthy walnuts and friends. This soup might be a magic elixir, the proverbial unicorn of soups! With roots in eastern Europe, this Mediterranean “çorba” (Turkish for soup) is similar to the Turkish Casik, which uses yogurt as its base. I tried various versions of this, and I settled on this version. I loved the addition of red pepper flakes and tarragon! If you make it, tag me and let me know how you liked it!


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Mediterranean Cucumber Soup with Dill and Walnuts

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large European (traditional) cucumber, or 3 small Persian cucumbers, small diced
  • 2 cups plain vegan greek style yogurt (I used Kite Hill)
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 small scallions, trimmed and diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup shelled walnuts, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place a colander in a sink or over a bowl, add cucumbers and salt. Stir well, and let sit for about 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk olive oil, yogurt, and lime juice together until smooth.
  3. Gradually whisk in water until you achieve the desired consistency.
  4. In a mortar or a bowl, grind garlic clove with a pinch of salt into a paste.
  5. Add garlic, cucumbers, scallions, walnuts, and spices. Mix thoroughly.
  6. This step is optional, but you can add one ice cube to each bowl and then ladle the soup on top.
  7. Garnish each bowl with chopped parsley, one thin slice of lime, red pepper flakes, sliced red onion, olive oil, and walnuts.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

Japanese cucumbers would also work.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 134 calories

Keywords: Vegan Soup, cucumber soup

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