Iced Soda Water Soup

From the fearless British reporter Noel Barber the first Briton to reach the South Pole since Scott. Found in The Artists and Writers Cookbook (Contact Editions, Sausalito 1961.) His other recipe is not for the fainthearted - a meal in Malaya with Dyak head-hunters.

Contributors to this uncommon (but not valuable) anthology includes: Man Ray, Pearl Buck, Marcel Duchamp, Burl Ives, Marianne Moore, James Michener, Paul Bowles, Harper Lee, Kay Boyle, Upton Sinclair, Richard Wilbur, Lawrence Durrell, Robert Graves, Malcolm Bradbury (from whom this book came-- he gives a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding) William Allen White, Max Eastman, Katherine Anne Porter, Simenon, Lin Yutang, Sir Shane Leslie, S.I. Hayakawa, Sam Francis and many more. The recipe sounds abit bit like a very savoury Lassi. Barber's advice to use as much soda water as you like could be the making or breaking of this hearty soup. The tone of this Daily Mail reporter is very much of his time..

Iced Soda Water Soup 

I tasted this first in a village in Persia, the morning after an earthquake in which several thousand people were killed in a vast area between Teheran and the Caspian Sea. Since my knowledge of Persian is considerably less than my knowledge of arithmetic, the only thing I could do (after tasting the soup and finding it delightful) was to watch the villagers make it for me all over again and write down just what I saw.

I had raced there to beat my competitors. I flew from London to Teheran, drove 11 hours and as I could get no further because of landslides, slept in the car, then did another 5 hours on horseback.

It was hot, dusty and terrible. I breakfasted off some chocolate and processed cheese and reached the village - which was in the centre, the heart of the devastated area - at noon. Hardly a house was left undamaged, and in one of the few skeletons that stood, pointing up like a rotten old tooth, friendly peasants made me lunch – starting with this soup. It is an ideal super hot day – it should be eaten cold, because it is a peasant dish, you may vary the ingredients to suit yourself.

Three jars or 1 1/4 pints of yoghurt
Quarter pint of cream
One heaping tablespoon full of raisins
One heaping tablespoon full of dill or if unobtainable parsley
One heaping tablespoon of chopped onion
1 1/2 medium cucumbers
Three hard-boiled eggs
Soda water as desired.

Chop all the ingredients very fine and place in a bowl. Mix with the yoghurt and the cream and  add as much soda water as you like just before serving. For six.

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