Easy Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho Recipe

6 servings
20 min

I have the perfect summer soup ~ gazpacho. This easy Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho recipe will cool you off and have you asking for more.

Chilled and refreshing and slightly tangy and a little bit citrusy? Maybe, if you like, with a pinch of spice?

Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho is just the thing on a hot summer day.

We often don’t usually think of soup for summer. It’s usually too hot which doesn’t sound like the right dish to serve in 90˚+ heat. But what about cold soup?


For years, my go~to gazpacho recipe was from the Barefoot Contessa and I still love that version, but it can be a little heavy. It uses Clamato tomato juice and tons of tomatoes.


Easy Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho Recipe

When I found this recipe in a magazine a few years ago, it sounded intriguing and so very easy to make. The ingredient list was less fussy than BC’s version so I had to try it. And now Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho is my favorite version.

Just in case you are not familiar with gazpacho, it’s a soup from Spain. It always has tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cucumber, salt and pepper, wine vinegar, and some kind of pepper. Those are the ingredient basics.

And it’s always served cold. That’s what makes it the perfect summer soup.

Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho is the most refreshing summer soup you’ll ever make.

Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about ingredients ~ 3 in particular.


WHAT IS AN ENGLISH CUCUMBER?

You know that Sweet Shark is my food tester. He has a very discerning palette and he loves good food. But there are a few foods he just doesn’t like: liver, cantaloupe, and, you may have guessed it ~ cucumbers. (But he loves pickles!)

This means that gazpacho is not his favorite soup. I have to admit that for years I didn’t care for cucumbers either.

Until I had an English, also called a hothouse, cucumber. Unlike the cucumbers grown in your grandmother’s garden, English cucumbers are almost seedless and don’t create that “burpy” feeling. Do you know what I mean?

Garden variety cucumbers, also called slicing cucumbers, are covered in a wax sealing, can be bitter and must be peeled and the seeds removed.

Why are English cucumbers preferable even with a higher price tag?

  • They are longer and slimmer, making them easier to slice
  • They have a thin skin, which is edible, so no peeling.
  • Instead of being covered in wax, English cucumbers are wrapped tightly in plastic, which means they stay fresh longer.
  • The seeds are so small that you don’t have to remove them, although I usually do.
  • The taste is milder, less bitter, and has an almost sweetness to them.

So back to Sweet Shark’s aversion to cucumbers. He said he really doesn’t mind the cucumber in the Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho.

It’s the cucumber that gives gazpacho its distinctive flavor and crispness.

So bottom line: grab an English cucumber at the store to make this gazpacho. You’ll be glad you did.


WHAT IS A TOMATILLO?

O.K., I realize that most of you probably don’t live in Texas (sorry about that!) or New Mexico or Arizona where Tex~Mex and Southwestern cuisine is king. You may never have eaten a tomatillo, or even heard of one.

So let me introduce you to this sweet little fruit from Mexico that looks like a little green tomato. But it is not a tomato, although they are from the same nightshade family.

You can read more about the difference between green tomatoes and tomatillos.

Tomatillos can be purple or yellow when ripe, but 90% of the time you will find them in the grocery store (but didn’t know what to do with them?) raw, meaning they are green ~ like a green tomato. Except they are enclosed in a husk~like covering that must be removed.

Used raw, the tart flavor of the tomatillo is perfect for use in salsas, jams, preserves ~ and gazpacho.

Unlike tomatoes, tomatillos can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks without losing their flavor. They will keep even longer if you remove the husks.

NOTE: When you remove the husks, the skin of the tomatillo will feel sticky. Run it under warm water to remove the stickiness and allow it to dry or rub with a paper towel.

WHAT KIND OF PEPPER TO USE IN THIS RECIPE?

You can use a variety of peppers in gazpacho. The Barefoot Contessa version used jalapeño and red bell peppers.

This version uses poblano, a mild pepper when ripe. (Watch out for the ripened red version which can give off some heat.)

If you’ve ever had Chile Rellenos, you’ve had a poblano. For the Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho, we use a green poblano with the stem and seeds removed. Poblanos are kind of “gnarley” with shiny green skin.

If you want more heat in your gazpacho, add a seeded and chopped jalapeño to the blender. Or use the jalapeño as garnish.


HOW TO MAKE THIS GAZPACHO?

This gazpacho is so easy to make. You need a cutting board, a sharp chef’s knife, and a blender. The other ingredients are pantry staples.

To remove the plastic wrap around the English cucumber, cut off the pointed ends. Then pull on the plastic wrap, tearing it off the cucumber.

Since it is so long, cut it in half crosswise to make it manageable. Then cut it lengthwise down the middle.

I like to remove the little seeds. With a small spoon, hold the cucumber in one hand and scrape the seeds out with the pointed part of the spoon.

Slice the length of the cucumber down the middle and then dice into 1/2~inch pieces.

Halve the poblano and remove the seeds and inner light green membrane. Rough chop into 1/2~inch pieces.

Roughly chop the tomatillos into 1/2~inch chunks. Then thinly slice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic.

TIP: If the onions are strong, run them under cold water in a colander and pat dry.

Gather and measure your other ingredients.

Here’s the easy part:

  • Place about half the cucumbers, tomatillos, onion, poblano, and all the garlic in the blender jar.
  • Add all the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, parsley, and cilantro into your blender.
  • Blend on high until the ingredients are mostly puréed.
  • Add the remaining cucumbers, tomatillos, onion, and poblano to the blender and blend on high until very smooth.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper.

NOTE: It will seem like there are too many vegetables to fit in the blender, but cucumbers are about 92% water and the tomatillos also have a high water content.

If you are going to serve the Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho as soon as it chills (about 2 hours), you can leave it in the blender. Make sure it is airtight. If you leave it in the blender, give it a pulse or 2 before serving.

Otherwise, transfer it to a tall pitcher or container. If you are serving from a pitcher, I give it a good stir before serving.

To serve, sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves.

Yummmmy! You can serve it with some tortilla chips if you like.

Making the soup should take about 30 minutes. You can make it in the morning for dinner or make it at night for the next day.


CUCUMBER TOMATILLO GAZPACHO SERVING IDEAS

There are more ways to serve soup than just in a bowl.

  • I have served gazpacho in little juice glasses with small spoons at a party and it was a big hit.
  • Fill a large bowl with ice. Fill a smaller bowl with the gazpacho and set It on top of the bowl of ice. Set a ladle on a small plate and let guests serve themselves.
  • Stack small bowls and put spoons in a glass. Serve with a bowl of tortilla strips.

In addition to serving this soup in summer, it would be great for a St. Patrick’s Day party when you need something green!

Hope you enjoy it. I promise Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho will be a wonderful addition to your summer recipes.

Easy Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho Recipe
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber sliced, seeds removed and chopped into 1/2 ~inch dice
  • 1 pound raw tomatillos husks removed and washed; 1/2~inch dice
  • 1/2 medium onion thinly sliced, rinsed under cold water; sliced thin
  • 1/2 poblano chile seeds removed, 1/2~inch dice
  • 1 garlic clove peeled chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro + more for garnish
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions

Place about half the cucumbers, tomatillos, onion, poblano, and all the garlic in the blender jar.
Add all the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, parsley, and cilantro into your blender.
Blend on high until the ingredients are mostly puréed.
Add the remaining cucumbers, tomatillos, onion, and poblano to the blender and blend on high until very smooth.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
Garnish with chopped cilantro or finely diced tomatillo. Serve with tortilla chips.
Carol Lander
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Comments
  • Susie Susie on Jul 09, 2022

    Looks yummy - and thanks for the info about English cucumbers. Would I need to do anything different if using canned tomatillos?

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