While vacationing on Sanibel Island last spring, my husband and I asked some locals where to go for a nice dinner, somewhere a little quieter and not jam-packed with tourists or kitschy beach-themed food and decor. They steered us to a great restaurant called Traders, where we had such a fabulous meal we went back again the next night. After trying the White Gazpacho the first night, I ordered it again the second night and asked our server what was in it. Fortunately, the restaurant used large sheets of paper to cover each table and provided assorted crayons in a cup, so I was able to immediately scribble down what she said. I took a photo of my “recipe” to try to recreate when I got back home. I have done just that, and I hope you’ll love it just as much as we do!
For the soup:
1 medium cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 C chicken stock
1 C sour cream (8 oz.)
½ C plain yogurt (4 oz.) (use Greek yogurt, if available)
2-3 sprigs fresh parsley
1 T lemon juice (or white vinegar)
½ t salt
For the garnish:
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1 small cucumber, seeds removed, diced
5-6 sprigs parsley, chopped
2-3 green onions, minced (including green tops)
5-6 chives, minced (optional)
Prepare the soup: Place the chopped cucumber in a blender with the chicken stock, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and roughly half of the sour cream and yogurt. Puree until very well blended. Pour into large bowl and whisk in the remaining sour cream and yogurt. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Prepare the garnish: Chop the tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, green onions, and chives.
To serve, ladle the chilled soup into bowls and top with the garnishes as desired. (Optional: stir the garnishes right into the soup and serve.)
Step by step details
Get all the ingredients for the soup together. You can use any fat-content variety of the sour cream and yogurt, but try to use Greek yogurt if you can: it’s packed with protein. (And make sure you get “Plain” yogurt, not Vanilla. Different brands use different colors to denote their plain/vanilla varieties.)
Peel and roughly chop the cucumber (just small enough to fit comfortably in the blender). Place the cucumber in the blender and add the chicken stock, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and roughly half of the sour cream and yogurt.
Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds, if desired, by cutting the cucumber lengthwise and scraping a spoon along the inside. Dice into small pieces (roughly pea-sized).
Cut the tomatoes into similar sized pieces. You can also remove the seeds first, if desired, by cutting the tomato across its equator and squeezing the seeds out of each half. This step isn’t critical: it just makes for a cleaner, nicer presentation, and the tomatoes won’t get soggy the longer they sit.
Note: if you’re short on serving space, you can just stir the garnishes directly into the soup instead of serving them on the side. Just don’t skip them entirely: they really enhance the texture and flavor of the soup. Enjoy!