We’re still on a “no cook” kick, and I’m loving it! This creamy Chilled Cucumber Soup tastes like it came straight from the garden, which is no surprise, because it pretty much did.
I never thought I’d be a fan of chilled soup but on a 90+ degree day, this quenched both my taste and my thirst.
Why This Recipe Works
This Chilled Cucumber Soup recipe works so well simply because everything is in season, so all the flavors are amplified. Our tower garden is in its second rotation for the summer which means round two of cucumbers, basil, and mint (with more squash and tomatoes on the way).
You’ll be happy to know that this recipe is garden-fresh, and even if you don’t have a garden, you can find everything you need easily at the grocery store. You’ll need:
- veggies: cucumber, fresh garlic*
- herbs and spices: fresh basil, fresh mint, sea salt, pepper
- liquids: lime juice, coconut yogurt (or your preferred yogurt, just be sure it’s plain and unsweetened), cold water, drizzle of olive oil
*You can omit the garlic if you prefer and it will still taste delicious, but I’m Italian so I’m incapable of doing that. Seriously, it will still taste as garden-fresh, just without that extra bit of zing.
Health Benefits of This Recipe
One of the main reasons I love using seasonal ingredients is simply because they taste so much better when they’re in season. But did you know that they are actually more nutritious, too?
It’s true: when foods are at their peak, they pack more nutritional benefits than when grown in their off-season.
So let’s look at some of the main ingredients to see the health benefits of this Chilled Cucumber Soup:
- cucumbers: a “cooling food” in Chinese medicine, cucumbers help hydrate the body and pull excess heat from it, which is what we want in the summer time. They have anti-inflammatory properties, are great for your skin (providing hydration and making it less prone to wrinkles), and are naturally detoxifying.
- yogurt: yogurt is also considered a cooling food, adding creaminess to this dish. Even if using dairy-free, you will also get beneficial probiotics, which our gut loves. We love the Cocojune unsweetened coconut yogurt, which I used here.
- basil: provides vitamin K and other plant compounds which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating basil during its peak – spring and summer – enhances these health benefits.
- garlic: a great source of allicin, which is sulfur-containing compound associated with a multitude of health benefits such as boosting the immune system, supporting heart health, stabilizing blood sugar, and even improving memory and protecting your brain. Cooking garlic can significantly reduce the allicin content and therefore the health benefits, so it’s better to have it raw like we do here; the downside if you don’t like garlic is that it makes it extra pungent. If you aren’t a fan of the taste of garlic or have gastrointestinal issues, or a sensitive digestive tract, you can simply leave it out.
- lime juice: limes are high in vitamin C, providing over 20% of your daily needs, and have an alkalizing effect on the body. They also provide small amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, and more, helping the function of the immune system, heart, joints, and cells. In Chinese medicine the cooling properties of lime are beneficial in spring and summer, as it cools the heat in the body and tonifies “yin,” promoting fluids and strengthening the meridians.
How to Make this Chilled Cucumber Soup
Again, this recipe is super easy, and I love it because you don’t have to dirty tons of plates and use all your kitchen appliances. You just need a blender and a few measuring cups, and you’re good-to-go.
You start by placing all the ingredients into the blender in order, reserving only your garnishes, which are a few thin slices of cucumber, your drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 cup of the yogurt, and some mint and basil leaves. Everything else goes right in.
Then you blend it all up on high speed for about 30 seconds, and once you have a smooth, creamy texture, you’re done!
You can place your blender in the refrigerator for 10 minutes here if you’d like it extra cold, but it’s not a necessary step. While the soup is settling (or chilling), you can whisk your 1/4 cup of yogurt for about one minute:
This step makes the yogurt light and fluffy so that when you add it to the soup it won’t sink to the bottom. Another step that’s not entirely necessary, but if you’d like it to look extra pretty and taste frothy and light, don’t skip it!
Now you’re ready to pour your soup into bowls, and add your garnishes.
You can see the soup will have some bubbles from the frothing of the blender. When I saw this I thought I would grab a toothpick and pop them so I could get a better picture, but I accidentally knocked over the toothpick container, causing the Great Toothpick Avalanche of 2023 in my kitchen.
Here’s where the difference in my kids’ personalities went on full display: Penelope, upon hearing this disaster immediately went for the broom to help me clean it up. Ciro went straight for the toothpick mess and began to walk all over them.
“What are you doing?” I asked, to which he replied: “I just want to see how it feels on my feet.”
In any case, the bubbles stayed, and it was my lesson to not mess with reality 🙂
Anyway, back to the garnishing. So you drizzle the olive oil:
Then add your dollop of yogurt:
And that’s really it! It’s cold, crunchy, light and frothy texture is sure to hit the spot on a hot day, and if you love a garden fresh meal, I promise you’ll savor this one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I store this for later?
Absolutely! The flavors, in my opinion, get better after they’ve sat together for a bit longer. But don’t wait too long; since it’s so fresh, I’d enjoy it within 2 days to be the most flavorful. This soup makes about 4 servings.
Do I need a Vitamix?
We love our Vitamix and have been using it since the kids were babies. It’s a powerhouse appliance that does many jobs. But in short, any high-powered blender or food processor will do for this recipe.
Where do I buy fresh basil?
You can likely find fresh basil at your local grocery store during spring and summer, and you should certainly find it at your local farmer’s markets. But my favorite way is to simply grow it yourself! You don’t need a full garden or tons of space – even a container on your front porch will do. We have ours growing abundantly in our tower garden.
I hate garlic! Do I need to use it?
In short, no. You can see more info about this in the u0022Ingredientsu0022 section of this post, but if you have digestive issues or simply don’t like the taste of raw garlic, you can omit it. I’m Italian, so it’d be culinary blasphemy for me, but if you are averse to the taste of garlic, simply leave it out. The soup tastes just as creamy and refreshing, I promise!
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! After you make it, let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.