Chilled Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup

Chilled Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup

We have a bunch of different veggies in the fridge and sometimes the challenge is remembering everything so it gets used up before it spoils. When I made this, I had tomatillos, poblanos, cilantro, cucumbers and avocados to use up. I couldn't decide on a Mexican dish to make until I came across this one that sounded good to us both.

I must say this: it is extremely green. And cooking cucumbers is odd - I'm used to seeing chilled cucumber soups call for raw cucumber. But I have to say, it is extremely good. It needs the little crunchies from the sunflower seeds and some crumbled queso fresco or queso cotija would make it perfect.

This soup is subtle, spicy and rich. However, if you love fiery foods, you might consider using an additional chile or the whole jalapeno. Also, please note that this depends heavily on how spicy your chiles are. Right now the ones at my market are quite spicy.

If this summer is as hot as usual, I think this and other chilled soups will be in heavy rotation as I try to avoid running the oven or range overmuch when temperatures are over 100F.

Chilled Tomatillo and Cucumber Soup [printable recipe]

Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2001
Serves 4 as a main

  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or all veggie, if vegetarian)
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked beans, any variety
  • 1/2 cup roasted corn
  • sunflower seeds (for garnish)
  • queso fresco, queso cotija or feta, crumbled

Broil poblanos 4 - 6" from heat until well blackened on all sides. Drop into a paper bag and close the top. After 10 minutes, peel the peppers and remove seeds, then roughly chop.

Heat oil in a large (5qt) pot over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic, saute 5 minutes. Add tomatillos and cucumber, continue to saute
 until onion browns. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Deglaze with white wine. Add broth and poblanos, bring to a boil before reducing the heat to medium-low and simmering until tomatillos are tender, about 5 - 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice and cilantro and remove to a sink filled with cold water and ice. Cool completely (about 30 minutes via this method).

Stir in avocado and sour cream, then puree the soup with an immersion blender. Finally, stir in beans and roasted corn. Taste and season with salt or pepper as needed. Sprinkle servings with green onions, sunflower seeds and crumbled cheese.

Serve with crusty bread.