19 Aug2007


I know there are more than a few vegetarians amongst my readers and commenters. Unfortunately, despite my love for fruits and vegetables, my recipes for purely vegetarian dishes are few and far between. But here is a vegetarian soup that is so easy to make that The Kid did most of the work by herself and it tasted utterly brilliant. You may be wary of cold soups, I certainly was, but on a blisteringly hot day at the beach, this is a refreshing way to start a light and completely “heat-less” and “meat-less” meal.


This recipe comes from the Mustards Grill Cookbook. This well regarded restaurant in Napa Valley, California has been around for years and has consistently delivered superb food to a demanding clientele. For the soup, you will need: 2 pounds of seedless green grapes, 1 small cucumber (the thin Japanese kind without seeds, preferably) peeled and chopped, 1/4 cup of toasted almonds, 2 green onions, coarsely chopped, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 3 oz cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup buttermilk (or just milk), salt and white pepper to taste, several sprigs of dill and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper.


Stick everything in a blender and blitz until smooth-ish but it still retains some texture. Chill in the fridge for about 2 hours. Serve in cold bowls (leave these in fridge for an hour or two before serving) and garnish with more chopped cucumber. I know, I know, it sounds bizarre, but oddly it tasted really good. I actually forgot to bring the recipe with me to the beach where we tried this out, so my version was a little less exact and I just tasted as we blended and it turned out just as good. Feel free to experiment a bit with the ingredients… but the grapes, nuts and dairy products are essential.


With this cold starter I served a simple green salad and had some fruit for dessert. Yes, there you have it. Marketman does a vegetarian meal. Oh, and I even garnished one of the soup bowls with some pomegranate seeds, but I wouldn’t recommend that you do that… it wasn’t such a good idea after all. This recipe serves 6 with a nice portion each. If you make several batches of these and chill them in a pitcher, you can easily stir them up and serve them in small glasses if you are having a crowd over for an outdoor barbecue or some other casual occasion. Total prep time, about 10 minutes!



  1. bijin says:

    Hi MM!
    Am back in Japan now after spending almost 2 months in the US…mainland, Maui and Honolulu. It felt like a sauna after stepping off the plane here in Japan….so blistering hot!

    Anyway, I do serve vergetarian meals 3 or 4 times a week and this one looks good.

    as always, I enjoy your blog and wish I could avail myself again to the freshness of the ingredients you use as my mom used to buy—–especially fresh seafood.

    Aug 19, 2007 | 8:29 pm


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  3. tulipfleurs says:

    Hello MM! I see that my “favorite” colors are all being used in your photos! :-) It’s funny that my friend was telling me that no too long ago she had lunch at Mustard’s Grill and here you have made a recipe from its book. Napa is only about 45 minutes away from me. Anyhoo, this is one of the many recipes I will try especially when the weather warrants it. I think I’ll have to start my own binder called “MM’s Recipes”. :-) Take care!

    Aug 19, 2007 | 11:23 pm

  4. Bengski says:

    Happy Birthday MarketMan!
    May you have a lot more birthdays and food blogs to come.
    All the best,

    Aug 20, 2007 | 9:26 am

  5. Tilman Baumgärtel says:

    This is a favorite of mine, and I think you can do away without the cream cheese and all the other dairy stuff if you have a good yogurt, such as the one from Rizal farm here in Manila (even though the idea of a yogurt soup might make most Filipinos squirm).

    I find that this recipe always need a lot of “fine tuning”, because for some reason slight differences in the quality of the onions, the grapes etc can make a big difference. Anyway, this is a dish that will impress even the most blasé eaters.

    By the way, the recipe comes from Cordoba in Spain, where it is known as “Gazpacho Blanco”…

    Aug 21, 2007 | 7:43 pm

  6. mackenzie says:

    Hooray for cold soups and hooray for vegetarian dishes!

    Aug 22, 2007 | 5:32 pm


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