But you know what sucks about that? The dearth of soup! If you follow this blog regularly, you might already know that I’m a lover of warm, cozy slow-cooked meals. I get no greater satisfaction than spending a couple of hours hovering over a large pot of savory soup or a hearty sauce. I have no idea why. I suppose it could be my Southern roots that lead me to be a very “comfort food” oriented kind of cook.
Well I recently got fed up with the lack of soup happening in my life and decided to try my hand at something I’d never done before—a chilled soup, utilizing seasonal ingredients like avocados, chiles, and tomatoes.
The dish is a Mexican soup called Sopa Fría de Aguacate, or chilled avocado soup. The way I’ve prepared it here is not vegetarian, though it easily could be adapted to fit a vegetarian lifestyle as I describe in the recipe. As I was making this soup, though, I felt torn—do I prepare it in its classic form or try something a little less traditional? But then I thought, why the heck is there an “or” in that sentence? Why not just do both?
So both I did, making the first the classic way by topping it with a trio of tomatoes, onions, and jalepenos. The second I topped with lump crabmeat and an extra hit of cayenne. Both were bright, refreshing, and fresh, but you could honestly top this soup with just about anything.
I’m not sure I’d recommend plopping down with a huge bowl of this, though. For some reason, it feels more fitting to serve as an appetizer or an amuse bouche (in cute little shot glasses!) at a summer dinner party or BBQ. I guarantee your guests will be impressed with the dish without knowing its utter simplicity.
Sopa Fría de Aguacate (Chilled Avocado Soup), Prepared 2 Ways
- 4 jalepeno chiles, divided; 3 jalepenos stemmed, seeded, and chopped roughly; the remaining jalepeno stemmed, seeded, and chopped finely for topping
- 3 large ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped into chunks
- 1 medium white onion, divided into 2 parts; chop half roughly and the other half finely for topping
- 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian alternative)
- ¼ cup cream (optional)
- juice of ½ a lime
- ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, plus more if desired
- salt, to taste
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
- ½ cup of lump crabmeat for topping (optional)
Begin by puréeing 3 jalepenos, the avocados, and ½ of the onion until a thick paste forms. Add to a large pot with the chicken stock, cream and lime juice. Use an immersion blender to blend until silky smooth. (Alternatively, you could combine all of these ingredients in a large food processor and blend it all there. If you do this, you may need to pass it through a fine strainer to get the larger chunks out.)
Season soup with cayenne pepper and salt, to taste. Place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until chilled.
Top with lump crab meat and/or finely chopped onions, tomatoes, and remaining pepper just before serving.
This recipe is easily made vegan by simply omitting the cream and crabmeat and substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
Recipe adapted from Saveur.