Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Mango Salsa

August 22, 2013

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: Give green soups a chance -- this one's refreshing, creamy, and comes together with a switch of your blender.

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup on Food52

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It’s not hard to love a green smoothie. They may be green, but they’re also sweet, cold, and fruity; they're lovable all around. Green soups, however, are a tougher sell. Even if you love vegetables, the idea of blending them up simply doesn’t have the same appeal of something that begins with the words “strawberry” or “banana.” 

More: Get Gena's recipe for the perfect green smoothie.

But perhaps it should. Green soups (which for me are usually a mixture fresh vegetables, a little lemon, and possibly some avocado) are a wonderful way to show off the fresh flavors of summer produce. And really, there’s nothing so very exotic about the idea -- they're not so different from gazpacho.

Avocados from Food52

In this soup, I combine crispy cucumber with avocado, some lime juice, green onions, and a little sea salt to create a perfectly dreamy, cool soup. I love that it can be whipped up in a blender in a matter of minutes, and if that’s all the time you have, feel free to serve it exactly as it is. If you’ve got a little more time on your hands, you can also throw together an easy mango salsa, which is delightful stirred into the soup or as a garnish on tacos, in wraps, or in salads. Whether you dress it up or down, I hope this recipe will turn you into a green soup believer.

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup on Food52

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup with Mango Salsa 

Serves 4

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

2 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into rough slices
Flesh of 1 large Haas avocado
2 scallions, green and white parts included, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Mango Salsa

1 cup mango, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1/2 cup shucked corn kernels (raw)
1/2 cup cilantro, loosely packed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jowi
  • Thea
  • Shannon Ryan
    Shannon Ryan
  • kristen lamb
    kristen lamb
  • creamtea
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


Jowi July 20, 2014
Made this soup-and-salsa combo twice this past week and enjoyed it very much, though with a slight modification to each component that really worked for us - and maybe others will like it too:
First, if a salsa doesn't have some red onion and a birdseye chili or two in it I feel there's something missing so I added those (I dice my red onion quite finely and soak for about 10 minutes just to get rid of some of the initial raw onion harshness - more for my girlfriend's benefit than mine but it does mellow things nicely in the context of this salsa).
Second, in this recipe it suggested adding a little bit of water in the puree process just to get the right velvety smooth texture you're looking for. For my second batch, I substituted the water with 1.5oz of gin and 1.5oz dry vermouth to give the whole soup just a bit of a small kick and another herbaceous element in the mix. It was received with universal acclaim at my father-in-law's 70th birthday party so if you have no objection to a little alcohol, i thought it really brought some definition to things (I've also been known to add a couple of shots of bison grass vodka - a vodka I find too overwhelming for just about any other application - to a gazpacho I make ever tomato season....with astonishing results).
Thea June 24, 2014
I make a similar soup with a little Greek yogurt added in for protein purposes. So great for the summer! Love the idea of mango salsa on top.
Shannon R. August 22, 2013
Seems really light to be considered a meal unto itself. I'm not vegan but am vegetarian and feel like I would be starving within a short period of time. I'm a regular reader of Choosing Raw and am honestly surprised (based on posts like how to make meal sized salads) that you would encourage people to call this anything other than a starter for something more substantial that includes carbs and protein.
Gena H. August 22, 2013
Hi Shannon,

Does it say someplace that it's a meal? I ask because I tagged it as "soup" and "appetizer," and I don't think I mention it being a whole lunch or dinner in the column--just a delicious recipe, which is how this column is organized (around recipes, be they starters or entrees, rather than snapshots of whole meals). Did you maybe think I'd posted it as "vegan lunch"?

Anyway, to your point, I wouldn't eat this as an entire meal, either. It would be a starter or a snack. When I say "serve it as it is," I don't mean "without any other food," but rather "feel free to leave the recipe as it is (and not make the salsa that is suggested as an accompaniment)." Let me know -- if the column states that it's dinner, I'll definitely want to make a note someplace in the recipe for clarity. Thanks for your comment--and thank you so much for reading CR regularly!


Shannon R. August 23, 2013
I interpreted "serve it as it is" as serve it as a meal by itself. My bad, sorry. I'm glad that you took the time to respond and glad that you didn't intend for it to be a meal :)
kristen L. August 22, 2013
Paired this with some shrimp (defeating the purpose of the vegan meal, sorry) for a great summer dinner. Refreshing and delicious!
creamtea August 22, 2013
This looks delicious and beautiful! You don't have to persuade me to love green!