This cucumber gazpacho recipe is a vibrant, creamy and cooling summertime favourite. Packed with flavour and easy to prepare with no cooking involved, this cold cucumber soup is a refreshing take on the more traditional Spanish gazpacho soup.
You can serve this cucumber gazpacho soup any day of the week, either chilled in a glass as an appetizer or in a small bowl as a first course garnished with slices of cucumber, lime, fresh parsley and basil.
What is gazpacho?
Authentic Spanish gazpacho is usually prepared with a medley of raw summer vegetables, like tomatoes, onions, peppers and cucumber. However, gazpacho or cold soups in general nowadays come in a wide range of varieties, like this delicious salmorejo cordobés, or they are made with ingredients such as watermelon, cherry and strawberries.
This particular cold summer soup is prepared by mixing cucumber, Greek yoghurt, lime juice and garlic together in a blender, making it crisp, creamy and simply delicious.
Which ingredients to use
- Cucumbers: You can use any cucumber you have on hand; English, Spanish, Persian, or any other type. For this cucumber recipe I have used English. There is no need to remove the peel or seeds as they are mild and deliciously sweet in taste. The peels and seeds of other types of cucumbers can be quite bitter so it is better to peel and seed them. In that case you might need to add more liquid to this soup as most of the liquid from this recipe comes from the seeds.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic, but considering raw garlic can be very pungent add only a quarter clove to start. However, you can add more if you prefer a stronger garlic flavour. Bear in mind that if the soup stands for a while the taste of garlic will get even stronger.
- Greek yoghurt: A full-fat Greek or other natural yoghurt provides a nice rich and creamy texture when blending the soup.
- Lime juice: A splash of lime juice balances out the flavours, adds freshness and lifts up the taste. As a substitute you can use lemon juice, sherry or white wine vinegar in the same quantity.
- Seasoning: I used salt and pepper as well as a few fresh basil leaves which provide a great level of freshness. As per your personal preference you can add fresh mint, chives, parsley or dill to blend in the soup.
How to make cold cucumber soup
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post
This chilled soup recipe comes together in just a few steps. Quick, easy and no cooking involved. The only equipment you need is either a food processor, kitchen blender or immersion blender, and a knife.
- Prepare the vegetables: Wash the cucumber in cold water and chop it into large chunks. Peel and remove the seeds if you use a Persian or Spanish cucumber. Peel the garlic.
- Blend the ingredients: Add the cucumber, garlic, Greek yoghurt, lime juice, salt, pepper and basil in a food processor and blend on full power for a few minutes until smooth. Add some water if the consistency is too thick or add an extra spoon of yoghurt if the soup is not creamy enough.
- Chill the soup: Store the soup in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. As the soup needs to be served very cold, take it out of the fridge just before serving.
- Season and garnish: Taste before hand and season with extra salt and pepper if necessary then give the soup an extra whizz/stir just before serving to ensure everything is properly mixed. Garnish with slices of lime, cucumber, parsley and/or basil leaves.
Interesting tips & tricks
It depends on which type of cucumber you use. The skin of English cucumbers is very mild in taste so no need to peel them. Of other types of cucumber, the skin can taste bitter or is rather thick, in that case, just prepare the soup without the peel. But when adding the darker peel of the English variety it gives the soup a lovely vibrantly green colour and also adds some extra fibre.
How much garlic to use?
Raw garlic has a rather intense, pungent taste. For this reason I would start with just a quarter garlic (of a medium sized clove). But bear in mind the taste of garlic becomes more concentrated after resting the soup. So before serving, taste it, and if it needs more garlic you can add a bit more either fresh or powder, then give it an extra good blend and serve.
Which garnish to use?
Garnish with thin slices of finely chopped cucumber, a slice or 2 of lime, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, and some chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, dill or mint. Other garnish can be finely chopped almonds or slices of serrano ham.
How to store this soup?
You can make a larger batch and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed container. Just give it one more good blend before serving to mix all the flavours again.
Chilled cucumber soup can be served any day of the week for lunch or dinner or even as a refreshing in-between side snack. You can serve it as an appetizer drink in a glass with some fresh herbs or as a first course or light meal with chopped or sliced cucumber, ham, nuts, fresh herbs and some slices of crusty French baguette.
Cold Cucumber Gazpacho
- 1 English cucumber (or 450 grams / 1 pound) chopped
- ¼ clove garlic chopped
- ¼ cup (or 75 grams) Greek yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- fresh parsley chopped
- lime thinly sliced
- cucumber thinly sliced or finely chopped
- In a blender, add the chopped cucumber, garlic, greek yoghurt and lime juice. Blend 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Add the salt, pepper and fresh basil leaves and blend again at full power until very smooth.
- If the mixture is too thick, add a bit of water until you reach the desired consistency. Add more yoghurt if the soup is not creamy enough.
- Store in the fridge to cool. Before serving, taste and add more seasoning to taste. Consider adding more pepper, salt, lime juice and garlic if required. Blend again for a minute before serving.
- Use either Greek yoghurt or a natural full-fat, unsweetened yoghurt.
- Cooling time: Cool for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, but the longer the better as this soup is best eaten well chilled.