A cousin to the classic tomato-based gazpacho, this cold soup is a great first course for a Mexican or Southwestern-style meal, and is especially nice to make when fresh tomatillos are in season in late summer. A splendid no-cook soup that will awaken taste buds dulled by summer heat, this soup can be eaten as soon as it is made, but definitely benefits from having time in the fridge to chill for a bit so that the lively flavors can mingle. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.
For the soup:
- 2 large cucumbers, coarsely chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 medium head lettuce, any tender and mild (not bitter)
variety, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and coarsely chopped
- 2 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 cup hulled and coarsely chopped fresh tomatillos
(or 3/4 cup store-bought salsa verde)
- 1 mild or hot fresh green chili pepper, seeded and minced
- Juice of 1 lime, or more, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 medium avocado, peeled and finely diced
- 1 medium mango, pitted and finely diced, or 2 peaches
or nectarines, pitted and finely diced
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Fresh basil leaves
Combine all the soup ingredients in a blender with 1 cup water and process until pureed, with a little texture remaining. Transfer to a large serving container. Stir in more water as needed to give the mixture a medium-thick consistency.
Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more, until thoroughly chilled. Just before serving, combine the garnishes in a small bowl and stir together. Top each serving of the cold soup with this mixture.
- Here are more recipes for cold summer soups.