Chilled Pesto Cucumber Buttermilk Soup

Chilled Pesto Cucumber Buttermilk Soup

Pesto Cucumber Buttermilk Soup
The next week is going to be stressful. We are moving from Salt Lake City to Boise. I’m equal parts thrilled and terrified to make the move. Boise isn’t that much different than Salt Lake, but it still feels like a chance to have a fresh start. I haven’t written very much about it, but our family has been through the wringer the last 4+ years dealing with long-term unemployment and all of the emotions that go along with it. Things have finally started looking up. We’ve worked hard, and our business has grown. Hooray! And so I’m ready to continue that in a new place. Because of that, I’m sharing this Chilled Pesto Cucumber Buttermilk Soup with you. I’m cleaning out my fridge and freezer. It’s great fun trying to come up with ways to use up the odds and ends.

Cucumber Buttermilk Soup with Pesto
I can’t say I make many chilled soups. I like them, sure. I think I just forget and they aren’t on my mind. Cucumber is my favorite veggie of the moment, with beets as a close second. (Now as I’m typing this, I’m realizing that I want to make a chilled beet soup ASAP!) My fridge has been full of cucumbers and I had to stop buying them to prepare for the move. I had one left, plus the tail end of a jar of homemade pesto, and a carton of buttermilk. Soup was inevitable!

Pesto Cucumber Soup
The tangy buttermilk goes well with the refreshing flavor of cucumber, and the herb-y savory flavor of the pesto. It’s thick enough to eat with a spoon, but truth be told, I slurped mine straight from the glass while I was working. Liquid yogurt or kefir would be even better and also add some good probiotic action. For a dairy-free version, use vegan pesto and coconut milk. (I’m thinking a mint or cilantro pesto would be great!)

Chilled Pesto Cucumber Buttermilk Soup
So next week, I’ll be sharing recipes with you from a little further north. I’m excited to have a house instead of an apartment. It has a backyard and deck, windows galore, and a garage. It’s the simple things, I tell you. I finally feel like I’m more of a grown-up. I’m also purchasing my first washer and dryer set. (Squee!)

This recipe would be great for an appetizer, but it was also great for a quick working lunch. Don’t be tempted to add salt to this. The buttermilk and pesto provide more than enough salt. The recipe makes four 8-ounce servings, or eight 4-ounce servings.

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Chilled Pesto Cucumber Buttermilk Soup

Chilled Pesto Cucumber Buttermilk Soup

A chilled, refreshing buttermilk soup made with cucumber and flavored with pesto. Vegetarian and gluten-free.

  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4-8 1x


Units Scale
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup pesto
  • 3 cups low-fat buttermilk, shaken (can substitute plain low-fat yogurt)
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Place pesto, buttermilk, and cucumber into a blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and chill until ready to serve. To serve, pour equal amounts into glasses or cups and garnish with extra basil.


Makes Four 8-ounce or eight 4-ounce servings.

  • Author: Lindsey Johnson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Category: soup, appetizer


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  1. Boise! I love Boise. It is such a charming place. I hope it is all things wonderful for you, even on the hard days (we know they exist everywhere. bummer :)

    You guys are amazing, talented people and I wish you all the best.

  2. Lindsay, I’m so sad I didn’t get to see you before you left! I feel like I just heard that you were leaving and then you were gone!! Will you come back and visit? You will be missed here but I hope to stay and touch.
    And this recipe…. gorgeous and brilliant!!

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