Need a new way to beat the heat, other than cranking up the AC, jumping in your neighbors kiddie pool or sticking your head in the freezer? I’m telling you, you’ll cool right off with this refreshing, stunning, deeply flavored avocado soup. With a slice of grilled bread, or a cob of corn and a salad, this makes a wonderfully filling yet light summer meal or impressive first course. Though, there is always the garden hose …
The ingredient list may appear long but don’t be daunted! None of the ingredients are costly and most are herbs and spices you’ve probably already got on hand. If your local well-stocked market (like Wholefoods or Fairway) doesn’t have poblanos, you can seek them out at a local ethnic market. I did that for Poblano Salmon, but this week there they were right next to the jalapenos at Fairway.
The pepita-corn garnish brings a welcome crunch, which you need in my opinion with a pureed soup like this. I bought 3 ears of corn and David and I had a cob each alongside to round out the meal, and that way grilling the corn wasn’t so much of an extra step just for the garnish. If you’re not going to do that, you could skip the corn it if you want, but don’t skip the pepitas. Pepitas are pumpkin seeds, by the way – you know the seeds inside butternut and acorn squash – yup – those are them. No, you don’t need to buy winter squash in summer to obtain said pepitas – they sell them in the dried fruit-and-nut section of well-stocked grocery stores.
The original recipe didn’t include the jalapeno, but since my tolerance for heat is on the up and up lately I added some, some being the keyword here because jalapenos lately are packing a punch! I don’t know who ticked them off but I sure do like it! Nothing’s worse than a dud jalapeno right? Maybe over-cooked pasta …
The orignal recipe also didn’t pair this with the spicy shrimp, but meatless soup for dinner = pained look on Hubby’s face so I sought out a great Indian shrimp recipe that was fantastic with the soup and easy to prepare.
Last note – I know some folks worry about making guacamole too far ahead because of avocado’s tendency to turn brown. Because this recipe includes lime juice (as do guac recipes), that won’t happen due to the acidity of the limes. In fact, we had leftover soup that was great for lunch today.
avocado soup/pepita garnish
- 1 medium poblano chili
- 1 ear fresh corn, husked
- 2 Tbs canola oil, divided
- 1 small onion, sliced thinly
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbs chopped parsley
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh oregano (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes), divided
- 1/2 jalapeno, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp salt (more as needed)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup low-fat or whole milk plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/4 tsp Mexican chili powder
1. On a gas stove or under the broiler on a baking sheet, roast the poblano until charred and blackened on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Put charred poblano in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam 10-15 minutes. Remove plastic and when cool enough to handle, peel off skin. Seed, remove stem and cut into 1/4″ dice.
2. Grill the corn on a gas grill until kernels are nicely lightly charred, turning often, 5-7 minutes. Alternatively, boil the corn 5-7 minutes. Shuck kernels, season with pinch salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbs oil and onion. Cook, stirring a few times, until onion is soft and browned in places, about 5 minutes.
4. In a blender, puree until smooth all but 1 Tbs of the poblano, the onion, broth, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, parsley, oregano, 2 Tbs lime juice, cumin, coriander, and salt. Blend in yogurt, 1/4 cup at a time, until consistency is to your liking, adding more to thin out the soup more. Season to taste with additional salt. Chill well.
5. Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until they begin to pop and color, about 3-4 minutes. Add remaining 2 Tbs lime juice, chili powder, and pinch of salt. Stir until juice is evaporated. Add poblanos and corn kernels and stir to combine. Taste for salt.
6. Divide soup among bowls and top with poblano/corn/pepita garnish plus 2 spicy shrimp (recipe below). Serve additional spicy shrimp alongside if desired.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking magazine
- 12 jumbo or large shrimp, cleaned and shelled
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbs canola oil, divided
- 1 Tbs finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt
1. Combine lemon juice, garlic, 1 Tbs oil, cilantro, cayenne, turmeric and salt in a bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Let marinate 15-30 minutes at room temperature.
2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add shrimp. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until just cooked – do not overcook.
Serve with chilled avocado soup
Recipe from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes by Ruta Kahate