August – Salad Soup

August – Salad Soup

This hot, muggy, humid, uncomfortable month in parts of the U.S. has birthed a number of recipes for Greek salad. All of them are delicious and cooling, taking advantage of perfect seasonal tomatoes and cucumbers. This soup is a version of gazpacho, but very similar to a Greek salad. It uses many of the same ingredients and is a light, cold lunch on a hot day. Even better, it is easy…very easy. And, you can modify the recipe to use what you have on hand.

I call this recipe Greek or Mexican (you decide) salad in a soupy bowl of goodness, but without the dressing (only a drizzle of olive oil at the end, which is completely optional). It has healthy vitamins from all those vegetables, and healthy fat from the addition of avocado. You could up the protein by adding a sprinkling of feta or fresh goat cheese, or pour it over a scoop of cottage cheese. Make it spicy, or not. Got some leftover salsa in the fridge? Go for it. What about some crispy tortilla chips sprinkled on top (my husband’s favorite). It would then be a Mexican Salad Soup…you could even add a handful of corn kernels. Leftover grilled corn, you are on! And if you are adding tortilla chips a dollop of sour cream would be yummy. The options are endless.

Greek Salad Soup

This soup is even better the second day, and even better the day after that. It is my idea of a perfect lunch on a warm day. The vegetables give it a satisfying crunch and mouth appeal, the avocado is a touch of richness to fill you up. This season I keep a large bowl in the fridge to snack on or for a quick meal. Serve it instead of a salad with your dinner, it would make an appetite wetting first course with some crisp bread or flatbread.

To save time, I used V-8 juice as the base. It’s an idea my cousin in Tennessee introduced me to when we visited last June. Because I am a fan of spicy food, I added a small can of spicy V-8 to about 3 cups of regular V-8. But it is completely up to you and your own taste.


  • 3 cups of V-8 juice
  • 1 small can of spicy V-8 juice (optional)
  • 1 red pepper, diced into cubes about 1/4″
  • 1 green or orange pepper, diced into cubes about 1/4″
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled if necessary, diced into cubes about 1/4″
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced into cubes about 1/4″
  • 4-5 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1 avocado, halved and diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (for Greek Soup) or cilantro (for Mexican)
  • salt to taste (I found it didn’t need any)
  • drizzle of olive oil to serve (optional)

Avocado ready to add


  • Combine all the ingredients and chill for at least 2 hours (better overnight).

That is all, can you believe it! It couldn’t be easier.

Salad Soup

This is a light, healthy, and quick lunch.

Salad Soup

You could serve it instead of a salad, maybe as a first course for dinner. What about small cups for folks to eat while they wait for you to grill dinner outside? It’s could easily be a walk-around the garden soup.

Salad Soup

Even better, it is vegetarian and vegan and gluten free. You won’t have to worry about dietary restrictions.

I think the folks in the midwest and south, where it is sweltering at the end of summer, will enjoy this refreshing soup. I’m taking it to share on Fiesta Friday #237 hosted by Angie. This weeks co-hosts are Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens

Come on over to read about the other delicious things going on around the world. Please add your own link after reading the guidelines. Hope you are enjoying the weekend.




Cucumbers continued, part 2

Cucumbers continued, part 2

Here is another recipe for using the cucumbers harvested from my Oakland garden.

Idea 2: Greek-ish salad with tomatoes, avocado, and red onions.

This salad is very popular with my family in the summer. I can often come up with most of the ingredients after a quick trip into the garden. The avocado is my own addition, not really necessary or classic. But my personal feeling is that almost everything is improved with the addition of avocado (or goat cheese). My introduction to this salad was in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where there is a large Greek fishing community. My family used to go to Paul’s for boiled peel-and-eat shrimp with Greek salad. They didn’t use avocado in their salad but did serve it with a wedge of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, black olives, feta, and a single pepperoncini. Their dressing was heavy on the wine vinegar and dried oregano. I always gave my mother the pepperoncini.

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

The ingredients can easily be adjusted to what you have on hand, don’t worry about being exact. I used 4 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, half of a thinly sliced red onion, some pitted Kalamata olives, and one avocado. Finely chop some fresh oregano and add it to 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar with a teaspoon of salt, whisk in about ¼ cup of olive oil. This is quite a tart dressing but the avocado adds it’s own richness to offset the vinegar. Taste the dressing as vinegars vary a lot in their tartness. Toss the salad with the dressing a few minutes before serving to let flavors meld. Add some fresh feta or goat cheese, yum!

4 tomatoes, cut into pieces

2 peeled cucumbers, halved, seeds removed if large and sliced into ½ inch pieces

½ red onion, sliced

1 avocado, sliced 

small handful of Kalamata olives, pitted and halved (about ¼ cup)

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano

optional: cubed feta or goat cheese

Variation…if you have some stale bread on hand you could tear it into bite sized pieces and toss with the other ingredients. If so you will need more dressing since the bread will absorb a lot, and maybe more salt. Taste as you go. You would end up with a panzanella, or bread salad, which could be an entire meal with some cheese on the side.

Variation 2…in the mood for gazpacho? Leave out the olives and avocado, add 1/2 cubed red pepper and 1/2 jalapeño (seeded and chopped). Pulse everything in your food processor till soupy. The tomatoes and cucumber should add enough juice but you could add a bit of water if needed. Check for salt and pepper. Serve with a few slices of avocado on top of each bowl.