Chilled Cucumber Gazpacho

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For those of you still sweltering in the heat of Summer (to my local readers, "What's with the Fall-like temperatures??"), I give you this chilled bowl of light and creamy goodness with a little kick.

If you are a longtime follower, you may recall the Tomato-Based Gazpacho that I posted over two years ago.  I like to think of this "white" gazpacho as the flip-flop version.  The base of this soup is a combination of cucumbers and yogurt and the garnish is the tomato-based salsa.  

I use plain low-fat yogurt; not greek, and regular garden cucumbers; not English.  I use 1-2 jalapeños depending on the heat.  (Jalapeños can be as mild as a green pepper or hot as blazes.)  The salsa calls for white wine vinegar rather than the lime juice in a more traditional salsa.  I also use a large shallot in lieu of a yellow onion.  It has a milder flavor and I think the flavor marries nicely with the vinegar and cucumber flavors.

A bowl of this gazpacho is like the contents of your harvest basket after a stroll through your late Summer garden.  The flavors and aromatics present offer a new experience with each spoonful, so make some and get veggie with it! 
Printable Recipe

Chilled Cucumber Gazpacho
serves 6

For the Salsa
4 large plum tomatoes, quartered, seeded, and finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
3 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
Kosher salt to taste

For the Gazpacho
4 medium cucumbers (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped
1-2 jalapeños, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2-1 cup chicken broth
Kosher salt to taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, shallot, cilantro, and vinegar, and toss. Season the salsa to taste with salt and refrigerate it. (Salsa will keep 3 days in the refrigerator.) 
In a blender, add half of the cucumbers, half of the chiles, half of the garlic, and one cup of the yogurt, and blend until smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Stir together both batches and add 1/2 cup of the broth.  Thin, using up to another half cup to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt, and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
Divide the soup among the chilled bowls and garnish each serving with a couple spoonfuls of the salsa and a drizzle of the olive oil.

Source: Adapted from Lee Bros: Fresh and Simple, by Matt and Ted Lee


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