Iced Cucumber, Prawn & Yogurt Soup

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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Cacik is the Turkish word for a lovely salad made from diced cucumber, garlic and fresh mint leaves, seasoned and turned in yogurt. The same mixture is called tzatziki in Greek. If you thin it with a little iced water and add some prawns, you will have a delicate chilled soup which is as light and refreshing as it is quick and easy to make. Imported Greek yogurt is the nicest type to use for this dish.


  • 20 tiger prawns (or 450 g/1 lb cooked Atlantic prawns in the shell)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cucumber, diced but not peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves 575 ml/1 pt thick natural yogurt
  • about 150 ml/ΒΌ pt iced water 20 mint leaves, to garnish salt and pepper



If using tiger prawns, shell and devein. Cover with salted water and swirl to clean, then rinse under cold running water and drain well. Cook in a preheated heavy frying pan for 1Β½-2 minutes over a medium heat, tossing until opaque. Remove from the pan and leave to cool. If using pre-cooked Atlantic prawns, shell and reserve.

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry heavy pan over a low heat for 2β€”3 minutes, stirring, and reserve.

Dice the cucumber small and put into a large bowl. Peel, smash and finely chop the garlic. Add to the cucumber, then pour over the yogurt and season with 1 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper.

Thin the soup with iced water until you have a pourable consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning and chill for 1 hour.


Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Arrange 5 tiger prawns on each or, if using the smaller prawns, divide them equally. Scatter mint leaves on top and strew over a few cumin seeds.

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