This cucumber gazpacho is refreshing soup that is perfect for summer. It’s a no-cook dish that is packed with fresh vegetables and herbs for a quick and easy vegan meal.
Sometimes it is just too hot to cook. Or maybe you want something fresh and healthy, but a salad sounds boring (I suggest trying this one if you feel that way regularly) and turning on the stove sounds exhausting. I certainly have days like that, and it is all too easy to fall back on unhealthy foods or take-out.
Gazpacho to the rescue! This wonderful soup requires no cooking, very little prep, and can easily be customized to your flavor preferences. Plus it’s naturally vegan, very healthy, and my version is gluten free. It’s an all-around win!
Now, because gazpacho doesn’t involve any cooking, I recommend using the freshest possible vegetables. This is one place where you can really let that farmer’s market or garden-fresh produce shine.
Want to get creative? Here are some simple changes you can make to this easy soup:
- Use different varieties of cucumber. Because of the simple flavors in this soup, unique types of cucumbers will stand out. Any type of cucumber with an edible skin will work – lemon, Persian, or even the wrinkly Armenian variety!
- Fresh spinach or watercress can be used instead of arugula. Each one is going to bring their distinctive flavor to the dish.
- Add some bell pepper (or other sort of sweet pepper).
- Fresh herbs! Mint and cucumber are an amazing combination, but all kinds of fresh herbs can be used to spice up your gazpacho.
- This is the perfect spot to use that flavored olive oil you picked up and didn’t know what to do with. Drizzle a little bit on the top to enhance the aroma!
What is gazpacho?
The classic tomato gazpacho is a cold un-cooked soup from Spain. Traditionally based around tomatoes, it always includes lots of fresh vegetables and herbs, blended into a tangy and refreshing appetizer or meal. It’s a summertime staple, and perfect for those hot days.
The standard recipe includes leftover bread, but I find it unnecessary. Instead, I would rather serve my light lunch or supper of gazpacho with some fresh, crusty bread. Refreshing and satisfying.
It’s a great party food
Instead of serving gazpacho in a bowl, you can also serve it in small glasses. If you are having a party, it is a great make-ahead appetizer. Serve it in shot glasses as part of a buffet or for a palate cleanser at dinner parties. Since it is vegan and gluten free, this is one appetizer everyone can enjoy.
This cucumber gazpacho also stores well. Make up a big batch and keep it in the fridge for easy meals during the week. Having something fresh and ready to go is a great way to prevent yourself from snacking on unhealthy foods.
Soups in general are easy to store, but gazpacho is particularly convenient. It requires no heating, and the flavors get even better as they mingle in the fridge. Dish out individual servings and add them to your work lunch or take them on a picnic with family – it’s great for any occasion.
- 2 English cucumbers divided
- 1 medium red onion divided
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped chives
- 1 small handful arugula
- 1 small handful fresh mint leaves
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Prepare the topping mixture by finely dicing 1/3 of one cucumber (also remove the seeds) and half of the red onion. Mix together with the chopped chives and set aside.
- Roughly chop the remaining cucumbers, red onion, garlic, and place into a bowl together with the arugula and mint.
- Add the lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil. Season with the black pepper. Don’t add the salt at this moment because cucumbers will release their juices ahead of time. Mix everything together and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Transfer everything to a blender and add the salt. Blend until the desired consistency is reached. You can do that in batches, if needed.
- Serve chilled, garnished with the topping mixture and enjoy!