Chilled Cucumber Soup

Makes enough to fill 6 espresso cups

This simple pureed cucumber soup infused with a hint of licorice from freshly ground fennel seed is the perfect appetizer for a summer dinner party. On a hot, sultry day you’ll be glad to have this no-cook recipe in your repertoire. Make the soup ahead of time and keep it chilled in the fridge. Serve the chilled cucumber soup in tiny espresso cups garnished with a drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil for a bright, refreshing beginning to the meal. The recipe is vegan and dairy-free, but full of flavor.

Fennel seed can be found in most grocery stores in both ground and whole form. Grinding whole fennel seed at home with a spice grinder ensures the spice will be fresh and flavorful.


  • 2 pounds cucumbers
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnishing the soup
  • 1-1 ½ tsp. freshly ground fennel seed


Peel the cucumbers, cut them in half, and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. Discard the cucumber seeds and peel. Dice the cucumber flesh and place it in a blender with the lemon juice, salt, olive oil and 1 teaspoon finely ground fennel seed. Puree the ingredients until completely blended and the texture is smooth. Taste the cucumber soup and add more salt or the rest of the ground fennel seed according to taste. Pour the cucumber soup into a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Just before serving, blitz the soup in a blender to even out the texture. Pour the soup into six espresso cups and garnish with a drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil.