Recipe: Real cool summer soup

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MORE about mint, which is entirely a pleasure. This week's recipe is Turkish, and comes from Mrs Tuba Bada of Exeter, Devon. 'It is called ayran soup,' she writes. 'Ayran is a simple drink made of yoghurt, salt and iced water. It is very refreshing in summer . . . and it is the favourite dish of my husband's grandfather, who is nearly 100.' Mrs Bada will receive a bottle of Cabernet Franc 1990 Family Reserve from Francis Ford Coppola's estate in Napa Valley, California, imported by Reid Wines.

Minted Yoghurt Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients: 5oz (140g) bulgar wheat

1/2 pint (300ml) boiling water

17fl oz (500ml) yoghurt

2 large handfuls mint leaves, finely chopped, plus whole ones for garnish

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

8fl oz (240ml) ice water

salt to taste

8 ice cubes

1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika

1-3tbs extra virgin olive oil

Preparation: Put wheat in a large mixing bowl. Add cumin and salt. Pour over boiling water. Cover and allow to stand for five minutes. In another bowl, mix yoghurt and 8fl oz ice water, or enough for it to reach the consistency of drinking yoghurt. Add garlic and chopped mint. Pour over bulgar wheat. Mix. Adjust seasoning. Add ice cubes and salt. Garnish with paprika and fresh mint leaves. Gently drizzle the olive oil over the top. Serve in mixing bowl.

Next week, mint is given a particularly English treatment. New entries are welcome for our following category: cooking with peaches and plums. Send recipes, stating the source if not original, to Emily Green, Weekend Features, the Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. The prize will be a bottle of 1989 Vouvray Moelleux from Brisebarre, imported by Reid Wines of Hallatrow, near Bristol.

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