Take a chilled yogurt soup to the next level with roses

  • The classic Iranian soup Abdoogh Khiar is served ice-cold making it perfect for a hot summer day. It's dressed up with cucumbers, raisins, walnuts and rose petals.

      The classic Iranian soup Abdoogh Khiar is served ice-cold making it perfect for a hot summer day. It's dressed up with cucumbers, raisins, walnuts and rose petals. M. Eileen Brown | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/6/2023 11:16 AM

I've got to say raisins, and rose petals are not my go-to soup ingredients.

However, a classic Iranian soup, Abdoogh Khiar, made with yogurt and mint, sounded intriguing and the perfect antidote to a hot summer day.

 

The main ingredients are plain Greek yogurt, dried mint, salt and water blended together and chilled. It couldn't be more basic or more straightforward.

The add-ons -- diced cucumber, chopped herbs, walnuts, raisins and the aforementioned rose petals -- take it to the next level of tastiness. Add a few torn-off pieces of pita bread tossed in, and you have a tangy, crunchy, sweet, savory soup that gets better with each mouthful.

This recipe is very adaptable. While it calls for mint and parsley, any green herbs, including basil and dill, will do. As for the raisins, either black or golden will work. And instead of pita bread, you can use lavosh or any flatbread. The bread is basically a thickener.

Adding ice cubes at the end may seem unnecessary, but it really makes this soup super cold, which is what you are going for here.

Then there's the question of the dried rose petals. You don't really need them, of course, but they add a delicate sweetness to the dish and are quite good for you as they are high in vitamin C. I ordered them from -- surprise! -- Amazon. They weren't expensive, and they added a certain festivity to the dish.

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Once you've gathered these rose petals, there are plenty of rose recipes and ideas -- from decorating cakes to making teas, jams or even a vinaigrette with them. The world is your rose petal.

Who knows? Roses may just become my go-to ingredient.

• M. Eileen Brown is the Daily Herald's vice president of sales and marketing and an incurable soup-a-holic. She specializes in vegetarian soups and blogs at soupalooza.com/.

Abdoogh Khiar (Cold Yogurt Soup)

2 cups Greek-style yogurt

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons crushed dried mint

2 cups cold water, or more as needed

2 seedless cucumbers, diced

cup raisins

cup chopped walnuts

cup chopped fresh mint

cup chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons ground dried (edible) rose petals

Ice cubes

2 pita bread rounds, or to taste

Puree yogurt, salt and dried mint in a blender, adding enough water to create a smooth, thin soup. It will thicken some when you add the bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Divide the cucumbers, raisins, walnuts and herbs among four bowls.

Pour one-fourth of the yogurt mixture into each bowl.

Top with rose petals, and add a few ice cubes.

Tear bread into small pieces and add some to each bowl. Let bread soak 5 to 7 minutes before serving.

Serve cold.

Serves 4

M. Eileen Brown

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