This chilled cucumber soup hits the spot on a hot summer day for lunch or a starter for a dinner party. Like many others, it includes yogurt, but it also uses buttermilk for a little tang. It includes fresh watercress and is topped with a summer salsa of tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and white onion.
Make this ahead, and chill for at least 30 minutes, but ideally the day before you serve it. The extra chill time allows the flavors to develop.
Updated June 3, 2022
Need a cold soup for lunch? Or as a starter for a dinner party? This chilled cucumber soup is just the ticket. It's refreshing, creamy with a slight tang from buttermilk, and filled will goodness from the cucumbers and added watercress.
I am a soup person. In winter, it warms me up on a snowy day. In summer, it refreshes me with something healthy. Some soups can be eaten either way, such as this Asparagus Soup. Others should only be eaten cold, such as this Strawberry Coconut Soup and Mango Soup with Coconut and Lime, which came in second place in a recipe contest on Food 52 a few years ago.
Cucumber Soup Ingredients
- Cucumbers - use English cucumbers. They're a little sweeter, as regular cucumbers typically have larger seeds in them. The seeds contribute a slight bitterness.
- Greek yogurt - plain, full-fat.
- Rice vinegar - both plain and seasoned work fine in this recipe.
- Fresh dill
- Dried chile flakes (I use New Mexico Caribe Chile flakes)
Soup Salsa Ingredients (Optional)
- Roma tomatoes
- Grilled Corn
- Fresh Dill
- New Mexico Caribe Chile Flakes
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Step 1 (10 minutes)
Prep the veggies. Peel the cucumbers, and coarsely chop. Chop the scallions and watercress. Coarsely chop the jalapeño.
Step 2 (2 minutes)
Purée. Pile everything into a countertop powerful blender. Buzz it until you have a smooth purée.
Step 3 (at least 30 minutes)
Chill. Pour the soup into a container, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Chilling overnight is even better - the extra time allows the flavors to meld and develop.
Step 4 (10 minutes)
Prep the salsa (if using). Seed and dice the Roma tomato. Coarsely chop the cilantro. Mince the white onion and jalapeño pepper. Chop the avocado.
Serve: Adjust the seasoning of the soup to your tastes, for example a little more lemon or salt. Serve with the garnishes on the soup or on the side.
Cucumber Soup FAQ
Is it necessary to peel the cucumbers?
Yes. It's typically not necessary to peel English cucumbers since their skin is thinner than regular cucumbers. But if you don't peel them for this soup, the texture will be gritty. I've tried this and then added more avocado, but then the soup is bland.
So, yes, peel the cucumbers. And if you use regular cucumbers, be sure to seed them as their seeds can be bitter. This isn't necessary with English cucumbers.
Want more vegetarian and vegan dish ideas? I can help you. I have three newsletters for different topics: 1) Vegetarian Recipes, 2) Vegetarian Meal Plans, and 3) Vegetarian Tips for helping you to move to a more vegetarian diet. Choose which newsletters are most relevant to your lifestyle and you'll also get my 5 SECRETS TO FUSS-FREE VEGETARIAN DINNERS.
Chilled Cucumber Soup with Watercress (Recipe)
- 4 cups English cucumbers about 1 ½ cucumbers
- ¼ cup chopped scallions about 2 scallions, including the dark green parts
- ½ cup coarsely chopped watercress
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño
- ½ avocado
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes, such as New Mexico Caribe Chile Flakes or Pequin Crushed Dried Chiles
- ⅛ Roma tomato seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh raw or grilled corn
- ½ teaspoon fresh dill
- ⅛ teaspoon dried chile flakes see above links for examples
- squeeze lime juice
- Prep the veggies. Peel the cucumbers, and coarsely chop. Chop the scallions and watercress. Coarsely chop the jalapeño.
- Purée. Pile everything into a countertop powerful blender. Buzz it until you have a smooth purée.
- Chill. Pour the soup into a container, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Chilling overnight is even better - the extra time allows the flavors to meld and develop.
- Prep the salsa (if using). Seed and dice the Roma tomato. Coarsely chop the cilantro. Mince the white onion and jalapeño pepper. Chop the avocado.
- Serve: Adjust the seasoning of the soup to your tastes, for example a little more lemon or salt. Serve with the garnishes on the soup or on the side.
- Mix the tomato, corn, fresh dill together and toss with lime juice. Serve on the side or a dollop on top of the soup, along with some chile flakes.