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Light, quick, refreshing. No, not just refreshing, penetrating. Here is gazpacho without a hint of red. It’s all green: cucumber, jalapeno, avocado. And it’s delicious. From start to eating, it’s 30 minutes for this because you do need some time for this soup to chill. While it is chilling, you can turn to the garnishes of your choice: croutons, corn, diced avocado. You could even do tomatoes, although that would violate the all-green environment here.

The combination of light, watery cucumber with dense, rich avocado creates a balance in the texture and flavor. As a starter dish, this will awaken your mouth and your appetite. You’ll be perfect prepared for the courses to follow.

You could, if you wish, alter texture and bite by adding some tomatillos. They are green, so there is no color violation. You could use raw, grilled, or canned, but do use them in moderation or this will be a tomatillo gazpacho and not a cucumber. When tomatillos crash a party, they tend to be boisterous and dominate. You’ll soon run out of tequila. This recipe calls for jalapeno. As noted by many, most jalapenos lack the bite of their ancestors. They have been "watered down" in flavor intensity in response to too many tears from whimpy people north of the border. There, I said it. And I mean it. If you are the John Wayne type, and many of us are, use a serrano. Green, of course.

Cucumber Gazpacho

Yield: 6 cups


  • 4 large English cucumbers, peeled and cut into large chucks
  • 1 whole jalapeno, stem removed but not seed
  • 1 large Haas avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
  • ¼ small onion, peeled [1 wedge]
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Add all the ingredients, except the salt and pepper, into a blender. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, making sure to pulse after adding salt or pepper to ensure a thoroughly mixing. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you don’t have 30 minutes before you need this on the table, use ice cubes.

This soup is visually more striking if garnished: croutons, fresh mint julienne, chopped tomatoes or avocado or pink grapefruit … You are in command. Or, offer several little dishes of ideas to your guests in side bowls on the table and let them pick and choose.

Source: Corinne Trang at Cooking by the Book

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO‑3200