Celery-Cucumber Buttermilk Soup with Couscous
There is a Moroccan country soup that’s so simple yet so delicious. You never see it in books or recipe sites—perhaps because it’s so simple it doesn’t qualify as a recipe. It is made with lben (buttermilk) and couscous and, well…, nothing else. You either love it or you don’t. Nobody I know has a middle opinion about it.
I am one who loves it. I think you will too.
I have received a few email requests for Ramadan recipes and immediately thought of this buttermilk soup called saikok. I’m not sure if the name has a meaning but it sounds rustic like the soup itself. I thought something this traditional would be fitting for the holiday. I also thought the enzymes in the fermented milk would be healthful for the tummies of those fasting (and those who aren’t). I added celery, cucumber and basil for a fresher taste, added vitamins and a pretty green color (no longer so rustic-looking with the green color). It came out tangy, fragrant and refreshing—perfect for summer. And yes it is a cold soup; a Moroccan-style gazpacho, if you would!
Happy fasting and feasting!
CELERY-CUCUMBER BUTTERMILK SOUP WITH COUSCOUS
Yield: 4 GENEROUS servings
Total Time: 15 min
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
8 celery sticks, chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
10 basil leaves
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
4 cups buttermilk or kefir
2 cups cooked whole grain couscous
Place the water, olive oil, chopped celery, cucumbers and basil in the container of a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Blend for at least 1 minute, until very smooth.
Strain the mixture into a pitcher or a large bowl (and discard the solids). Add the buttermilk or kefir and stir.
Divide the couscous among 4 serving bowls. Pour the buttermilk-vegetable mixture over the couscous. Stir a bit. Enjoy!
You may serve the soup right away or chill for an hour or two.
Other Ramadan Recipes:
Other Soup Recipes.