Tomatillo & Cucumber Soup with Garlic Chives

More generosity from friend’s gardens this week. You can’t believe plants can grow at all in this heat, but nature has it sorted it seems. Little capes are the answer. Little tomatillo capes. The perfect cover all. I know it should be about the nutritional value of the tomatillo, or recipe ideas, but have you seen those little capes? They are so beautiful. Dainty and ethereal. Like a little Japanese wrapped package, perfect but not too much so. Wabi-sabi at its finest.

So, love at first sight when I was handed a brown paper package filled with these little green lanterns, but I’ve never used tomatillos before, so nothing really followed that initial thought of  ‘pretty, pretty, pretty’. I checked them out online and discovered lots of Mexican style salsa recipes, enchiladas and slow cooked chutneys etc, but it was so, so hot here on the weekend there was no chance of the oven going on, let alone lighting a gas flame on the stovetop.

I decided I’d just think about these little strangers in the same way I think about any other tomato. Only green. I have a favourite gazpacho recipe I love doing in Summer with fresh tomatoes – I’m sure we all do – so I went down the cold soup path and ended up with an icy fresh and bright green version of what normally turns out red any other time I’ve made gazpacho. The haul of gorgeous herbs from Thatch Organics prettied things up nicely, I’ve raved about the beauty of their produce before. I love the tang of the tomatillos too, it’s a little lemony with the cucumber, so it kind of felt like we had deconstructed a cucumber sandwich when we dipped slices of sourdough into this. It’s really green, but that’s always a good thing out here on the hill. I think it would make a really pretty amuse bouche if you were able to turn your oven on and cook other things to follow it for dinner. We just had two cups each and called it done.

I’ll have to come up with some other tomatillo ideas though because I have every intention of getting some of these going in the greenhouse next year. Too gorgeous not to.


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Tomatillo & Cucumber Soup with Garlic Chives

serves 4-6 as a small starter


3 organic Lebanese cucumbers, cold from the fridge

1 cup organic tomatillos, peeled and washed

1/2 loosely packed cup organic garlic chives, with flowers if possible

1/2 loosely packed cup organic tarragon leaves

1/2 organic avocado, cubed

juice of 2 organic lemons

‘agrumato’ lemon olive oil

Himalayan salt, to taste

Freshly ground white pepper, to taste


Juice the cucumbers and then transfer the liquid into a blender along with all other ingredients except the avocado, olive oil and seasoning. Blitz until super smooth. Season to taste.

Divide the cubed avocado between little bowls or cups and pour the soup over the top. Add the chive flowers and a sprig or two of fresh tarragon and finally drizzle with lemon olive oil. Serve immediately while the soup is lovely and cold. A few ice cubes would be good too, we did that in our second bowlful.

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