Chilled cucumbers and watercress soup blended with Greek yogurt and buttermilk, topped with salsa for a hot summer night.

cucumber watercress soup gazpacho

Time to chill out!

Hot summer days are here with trips to the beach with cartons of sunblock and beer, picnics in the country, and sylvan hikes in the mountains. This holiday weekend our stepson (Kevin), his lovely wife (Suzanne), their 5 kids (4 very active boys and 1 very active little girl who dances every moment she can), and one 20-week-old puppy are visiting. So I have more than one reason to chill.

We’ve been hosting these large get-togethers for a few years now, and I’ll admit I’ve had my fair share of overwhelmed moments, especially since I never had kids of my own and am an only child to boot. Carnivorous Maximus and I drop onto couches for hours after they leave. But we have so much fun with them, and all the planning that goes into their visits, that we’re almost always trying to plan the next visit before they’ve even left. We have a step-daughter (Robin), her husband (Tim), and their 2 kids in Portland, and sometimes we’re lucky enough to get them ALL here at the same time, which is ridiculous-fun.

Dinner can be particularly crazy between all of our different preferences. Meat is a must, along with potatoes and loaves of garlic bread, for Kevin and his kids. Suzanne will eat anything I eat, as will Robin, Tim and their kids. I’ve had to declare our house a broccoli-free zone for Tyler, one of Suzanne’s sons. He’s ok if the rest of us eat it though. Artichokes work for everyone except Emma, who thinks it’s gross to eat leaves. Glen confessed a couple of weeks ago that he’s afraid of cheese. Grant, thankfully, will eat almost anything with Ranch dressing on it. Lots of it. Friends wonder why we don’t solve dinner by eating out, but Emma loves to help me in the kitchen and we’d both miss out on that. Glen Likes to help too. My other granddaughter, Tali, also loves to cook. My hope is to get them both here at the same time with me in the kitchen. Maybe next year :-)

In truth, as someone who didn’t grow up with much family but always craved being part of a large family, I find after 50-something years, I finally have the family I always wanted.

This week, the #SundaySupper family shares its best recipes for cooling down when temperatures rise. And this soup is perfect for that. Cucumbers are cooling by their very nature and this soup with watercress will totally chill you out. And it can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for several days! A big thank you to Alaiko at Pescetarian Journal for hosting us this week!!!

Cucumber-Watercress Soup – Gazpacho Style! #SundaySupper Summer Chillin’

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: Serves 4

  • 3 cup peeled, sliced, quartered English cucumbers
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions including most of the darker green stalk (about 2 scallions)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped watercress
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp verjus
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • big pinch cumin powder
  • big pinch cayenne powder
  • Pequin dried red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 Roma tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ medium white onion, minced
  • ½ avocado cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp minced jalapeño
  • splash verjus
  • drizzle olive oil
  1. In a food processor purée all ingredients for the soup EXCEPT the pequin red pepper flakes until smooth. Adjust seasoning - you may find you prefer a little more lemon juice or salt.
  2. Pour into a container, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes, but ideally overnight.
  3. Serve the pequin red pepper flakes separately for people to sprinkle on as they prefer. This kind of dried red pepper flakes are not very spicy, but instead add a nice smokiness to the soup for depth.
  1. Mix the tomato, cilantro, onion, avocado, and jalapeño together, and toss with verjus and olive oil. Serve on the side.
Verjus is translated as green juice and is the juice extracted from underripe grapes. It's usually stocked with vinegars since it's frequently used as a mild alternative to vinegar. A little rice vinegar can be substituted if you can't find verjus.

The 30 minute cook time is actually chill time in the refrigerator.

Calories: 69
Fat: 1.4 g
Sodium: 67.1 mg
Potassium: 229.3mg
Carbs: 7.6 g
Protein: 6.6 g
Vitamin A: 5.4%
Vitamin C: 9.5%


Summer Chillin’ Recipes:

Brisk Beverages

Chilled Starters

Snappy Salads and Sides

Refreshing Main Dishes

Cool Confections


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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33 Responses to “Cucumber-Watercress Soup: #SundaySupper” Subscribe

  1. Manu July 6, 2014 at 3:21 am #

    Oh yum! This gazpacho sounds so refreshing! Love it!

  2. Hezzi-D July 6, 2014 at 5:02 am #

    Yum! Sounds like big flavors coming from this soup and I’m liking that it’s served cold…perfect for summer!

  3. Shannon @VillageGirlBlog July 6, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    This sounds spectacular! I have had a cucumber soup that was full of cream and it was delicious but I think I would like the yogurt and buttermilk in yours more. Yum!

  4. Susan July 6, 2014 at 7:25 am #

    A large family is absolutely overwhelming and wonderful at the same time! You’ll always cherish the time and memories together. Now this soup! It’s sounds delicious and cucumber is so refreshing.
    Susan recently posted..Olive Oil Gelato #SundaySupperMy Profile

  5. Marion@Life Tastes Good July 6, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    I loved reading about the large family and all the different preferences. Too fun! This gazpacho sounds so cool and refreshingly delicious!! yummm
    Marion@Life Tastes Good recently posted..Lemon Curd Parfait #SundaySupperMy Profile

  6. Liz July 6, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Oh, does your soup look both refreshing and delicious! Even when I have our small nuclear family at home, I’m having to jump through hoops to make sure there’s something for everyone! But it’s always fun!
    Liz recently posted..Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie #SundaySupperMy Profile

  7. apuginthekitchen July 6, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    Oh wow Susan, love this soup, perfect for a light summer meal. Perfectly seasonal and delicious.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Em-i-lis – A Guest Post And How To Make Jam!My Profile

  8. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) July 6, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    What a pretty soup and perfect for Summer
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) recently posted..Melon and Salami on Rye #SundaySupperMy Profile

  9. Marlene @Nosh My Way July 6, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    What an excellent way to please all palates and keep your cool in the kitchen.
    Marlene @Nosh My Way recently posted..Zucchini Lasagna #SundaysupperMy Profile

  10. Sarah July 6, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    This looks delicious, I’ve only ever had cress in salads and sandwiches!
    Sarah recently posted..Mexican Flag Guacamole – a Chillin’ #SundaySupperMy Profile

  11. Courtney @ Neighborfood July 6, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    This looks so incredibly refreshing. What a great way to cool down on a hot summer day. I loved this post–sounds like such a blast to have everyone together!
    Courtney @ Neighborfood recently posted..Antipasto Tortellini Salad #SundaySupperMy Profile

  12. Shannon R July 6, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    You know so many good eaters! This looks fantastic, thanks for sharing.

  13. Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily July 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    Sounds like some fantastic family time 😉
    This gazpacho is lovely and I’ll bet it tastes wonderful, perfect for the dog days of summer! Pinned.
    Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily recently posted..Blackberry and Peach Sparkling {Camping} Sangria #SundaySupperMy Profile

  14. Laura Dembowski July 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    This soup definitely looks very refreshing! I’d like a bowl to cool me off now!
    Laura Dembowski recently posted..Vanilla Bean Chia Seed Pudding #SundaySupperMy Profile

  15. cheri July 6, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi Susan, this is my kind of soup, the this combination. I bet it’s refreshing too! Sounds like you are having a wonderful week-end, so glad you have the family you always wanted. What fun!
    cheri recently posted..A Soup For Summer, Green MinestroneMy Profile

  16. Simply Gourmet July 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Lovely soup and I loved your story about your family. Enjoy the tiny bit of weekend that is left.
    Simply Gourmet recently posted..Quinoa Fruit Salad #2 with a Creamy Yogurt Dressing #SundaySupperMy Profile

  17. Julie @ Texan New Yorker July 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    I’m a new gazpacho convert, so I’m so happy to see your recipe this week! I’ll have to make this soon.
    Julie @ Texan New Yorker recently posted..Strawberry Mango White Sangria #SundaySupperMy Profile

  18. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) July 6, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    This is definitely a summer soup that I can get on board with!

  19. Cathy July 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Susan — this looks so nice and cool!
    Cathy recently posted..Layered Salad with Green Goddess Dressing #SundaySupperMy Profile

  20. Rosemary July 6, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Loved hearing about your family — you are a trooper! It’s hot hot in Walnut Creek, I want try the soup tonight, but don’t have watercress…will see what I substitute and let you know how it goes.

    • Rosemary July 6, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      My version of your soup was great, and my husband liked it! The topping really made it nice. Since I didn’t have watercress, I steamed some turnips (desperately looking for ways to use them up from my CSA), and pureed in the soup. Probably didn’t make a lot of difference but I thought might give a little of that radish-y bite flavor. Thanks for the dinner inspiration!
      Rosemary recently posted..Comment on Thai Rice Salad with Three Herbs by Rita’s KitchenMy Profile

  21. Cheryl July 6, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    What a full house you had! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I’m so excited to have so many yummy sounding cold soup recipes to try. Here in New Mexico it is hot and dry, perfect weather for this kind of dish! HUGS
    Cheryl recently posted..No Maker Required Berry Ice Cream for a Chilly #SundaySupperMy Profile

  22. What a gorgeous Gazpacho! I love all the fresh ingredients and the bright color!
    Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch recently posted..Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad #SundaySupperMy Profile

  23. Choc Chip Uru July 7, 2014 at 5:42 am #

    The colour is stunning, and enough to make me devour this beautiful soup 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..CCU Undercover: Sushi Train, Dee WhyMy Profile

  24. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious July 8, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    What a fun menagerie you have going! I’m sure it’s the highlight of your year!
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious recently posted..Avocado Hummus Dip (Vegan) for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  25. Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen July 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Yummm it sounds cool and refreshing, and looks beautiful!
    Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen recently posted..Garlic Scape Pesto CrostiniMy Profile

  26. Alice July 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    that is truly wonderful to get something you always wanted! I wanted a close family, but so far its not happened yet… our little family of 4 are close, but the rest of us are still a bit spread out to hang out often.

    Also, love your gazpacho! I’m not a fan of cold soups, but I want to be and try every one I can! : )

  27. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) July 9, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Family time sounds fun in your household! And I agree that it’s so much better to eat in!

    I love chilled soups…these looks and sounds incredible!
    Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) recently posted..Tuna Tartare #SundaySupperMy Profile

  28. dina July 11, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    great summer soup. i love anything with buttermilk. yum!
    dina recently posted..Key West Key Lime Pie Cookbook WinnerMy Profile

  29. Mary @ Fit and Fed July 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    Beautiful Susan! And perfect for this hot summer weather. I see that you are making progress in using up your bottle of verjus. I’ve been having a lot of summer soups myself! I’m glad that you enjoy having your stepchildren and grandchildren visit despite all the necessary fuss. It could easily be the opposite so it shows a lot of generosity and flexibility that you’ve embraced it.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Roasted Orange and Yellow Pepper GazpachoMy Profile

  30. mjskit July 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    What a lovely soup! Cold cucumber soup is my favorite summer soup and I love your version. Topping it with salsa is a great idea. Great recipe Susan!
    mjskit recently posted..Hash Brown Cakes with Andouille SausageMy Profile

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