I have this love for soup. I crave it most days. It’s comforting and easy. However, it’s August in Florida, and it has been extraordinarily hot and humid here since June, so needless to say, warm soups have been pretty rare in my household lately. Yet, I still crave soup and no amount of heat can prevent this soup loving gal from making it. Thank goodness for chilled soups!
Most people think of soups as a warm bowl of comfort, but cold soups are quite popular in most countries, even in colder countries. Most East Europeans are famous for their variations of Borscht soup, which is a beet-vegetable soup, and leftovers are usually served cold. The French are known for their Vichyssoise, which is a creamy soup typically made from leeks, cream, potatoes and either beef or chicken stock, and then there’s the ever popular Spanish Gazpacho, which is typically made with leftover bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, garlic and bell pepper.
I had a hard time deciding what cold soup to make because honestly, I love them all. But I wanted to make something summery, and use what is currently in season. While walking my darling dog one afternoon, I was inspired. There’s a beautiful avocado tree around the corner from my home, and every day, I walk by it ever so slowly just so I can admire it. I’m sure my neighbors are wondering why I’m always stopping and looking up. But come on, the tree is gorgeous! It’s in full bloom right now, and it’s full of avocados.
So I went home on a mission to find a good recipe for cold avocado soup, and I immediately remembered this book that an old neighbor gave me a while back. It’s a 1972 version of The New York Times Bread & Soup Cookbook. I love this book, but the recipe definitely needed some updating. The original recipe called for mayonnaise and that just didn’t sound good to me. So I replaced the mayo with Greek yogurt. The recipe also called for 5 cups of chicken stock. Not only is the chicken stock too strong for my taste, but I also wanted a thicker soup, so I used 2 cups of vegetable broth instead. I also needed an extra zing so I added the jalapeno and ginger. While brainstorming, I remembered this wonderful guacamole with blue crab meat that my boyfriend and I had from a favorite local beach spot, Guppy’s. I just had to add the crabmeat in as well. Let me tell you, I’m glad I did and I highly recommend it. Please enjoy and let me know what you think!
Random fact: Did you know that avocados are technically a large berry with a single seed?!
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3 large ripe avocados
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup half and half
¾ cup tomatoes, seeded, and finely chopped
¼ cup sweet onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 whole medium sized jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chopped cilantro
Lump crabmeat (optional)
1. Peel, seed, and chop the avocados. Reserve a third of the chopped avocados in a bowl with the pit and some of the lime juice to preserve the color. Refrigerate.
2. In a blender, place the rest of the avocados with ½ cup of vegetable broth. Blend until smooth. Slowly add the rest of the vegetable broth while blending (you can use less vegetable broth for a thicker consistency). Add the remaining lime juice.
3. Pour the avocado and broth mixture in a pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil then reduce the heat immediately to a simmer. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomatoes. Simmer for about 5 minutes, and then remove from heat. Let the soup cool down for about 25 minutes. (For a smoother soup, you can opt to blend the soup again either in a blender or use an immersion blender).
4. While waiting to cool, put the greek yogurt in a medium size bowl. Slowly add the half and half to the yogurt and mix until smooth.
5. Add the yogurt mixture to the cooled soup and chill well.
6. Prior to serving, add the reserved avocados on top and garnish with the chopped cilantro, chives, and crabmeat. Sprinkle with some chili powder.
7. Serve with lime wedges on the side and your favorite bread or tortilla chips.
Mango + Lemon Margarita
I was in the mood for a cocktail and while making the chilled guacamole soup, I immediately thought, Margarita. To stick with what’s in season, I figured why not a Mango Margarita! So here’s a fun summer cocktail for you to enjoy!
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1 cup water
1 ½ cup sugar
1 cup mango juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup tequila
½ a cup Grand Marnier
2 lemons cut into wedges
¼ cup course kosher salt
1. Make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until clear (about 10 minutes). Set aside and let it cool completely.
2. In a large pitcher, stir in the mango juice, the lemon juice, the tequila and Grand Marnier.
3. Add the cooled simple syrup (you can add less if you don’t like it too sweet). Stir well.
4. Rub the rim of four glasses with a lemon wedge. Invert the glass into a plate of course salt.
5. Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour the margarita mix. Garnish with lemon wedges.
CHILLED GUACAMOLE SOUP FULL GROCERY LIST