Is it just me or do they seem to be giving away avocados at the store right now?
Living in the South, we don’t really enjoy dirt cheap avocados most of the year–nothing like how it was when I lived in Austin, TX–but right now, they seem to be just everything. And you know I’m making damn good use of that.
Avocados are especially dear to vegans, I think, because they provide a butter-like richness to vegan dishes, a creaminess you don’t usually get from, you know, kale. Whether mashed into a quick guacamole atop nachos, blended into a chocolate mouse “Oreo” parfait–i.e., the best dessert of your life–or thrown into a smoothie, we vegans love us some avocados. And good for us! Avocados are one of the foods most dense with vitamin B5 (second only to shiitakes); they’re rich in fiber, 1 cup providing over 40% of your “recommended daily value”; and they’re even extremely high in [diverse] carotenoids (which usually brings to mind carrots and other orange and red veggies), despite their green flesh.
Love affair, official.
I’ve been making this soup for going on eight years now–it was one of the first recipes I made in my college kitchen, where I fell head-over-heels in love with food and cooking. I’ve continued to make it regularly for those eight years; I love its simplistic complexity of flavor; I love how refreshing it is during warmer weather months! It’s elegant and rich, creamy and smooth, without being overly heavy or buttery. Even better? It’s insanely simple, with instructions like “sieve avocado. mix with other stuff. chill. eat.”, and you can make it in advance–perfect for a summer dinner party.
In this chilled avocado soup recipe, you let the avocado take center stage, drawing out its creaminess to create a soup that resembles a “cream of” or bisque, but there’s no cream or butter involved! It’s all whole foods here, people, especially if you make your own hot sauce. The avocado both lightens the flavor with a bit of brightness and prevents any browning, and the hot sauce adds just a tiny bit of tang and punch. If you like your foods really spicy, though, I’d recommend adding cayenne pepper instead, so you don’t overtake the delicate avocado with too much of a vinegar flavor.
If you’re serving this to guests, I’d recommend adding the tomato in last, right before serving, so the pieces don’t all sink to the bottom. How perfect would this be before veggie fajitas from the grill, accompanied by fresh (cucumber?) margaritas?! Ugh! Make this… it’s delicious.
On a somewhat unrelated note, though, you need to check out this horrible picture I took of this recipe those eight years ago.. terrible, right? I studied a little and changed a few things about my approach, and check out the difference it made in my photography! I’m currently working hard on writing a comprehensive book for food bloggers, including a massive section of photography. Interested? Sign up here to receive a notification when it’s ready for the presses (ePresses, that is..!).
Chilled Avocado Soup
- 2 medium avocados
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup almond or other alt-milk (not coconut here!)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
- 1 medium tomato , chopped
- 8 lemon slices
- 1 dash red pepper sauce , or cayenne pepper, to taste, if you prefer spicy foods
Peel avocados and press through a fine-mesh sieve. Scrape all of the sieved avocado flesh from the back of the sieve--precious stuff!
Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except for the tomato and lemon slices. Place in the refrigerator in an air-tight container until ready to serve. Ladle into serving bowls and top with chopped tomato and lemon slices.