Avocado is a highly nutritious fruit, but many believe it only tastes good in a cup of Guacamole. Contrary to popular belief, Avocado has the potential to be the center of a recipe, and carry it all by itself. Just like this Chilled Avocado Soup (Gazpacho). Combined with grilled Poblano chillies, onions and some flavorful herbs like cilantro, parsley and oregano, the rich and creamy Avocado exuberates its charm in this delicious, tasty and filling Cold Soup recipe.
I have to confess, I am not much of a chilled soup person – for me, Soup has to be hot and comforting, or its not soup. But after trying this lovely Avocado Soup recipe, I think I am more respectful about cold gazpachos. Using yogurt instead of milk or cream gives it a little sour yet creamy texture, and the relish made with pumpkin seeds and red pepper gives it the spicy kick that is characteristic of comforting soups! I still like my soup a little luke-warm, or at least at room temperature – I think it enhances the flavors well, and helps your tongue appreciate the complex flavors, but you can serve it chilled if you like. I am sure it ill taste good, no matter how you serve it.
Creamy Avocado Soup with Grilled Poblanos & Pumpkin Seed Relish
(Adapted from Deborah Madison’s recipe via Fine Cooking)
1 medium poblano chile
1 small white onion, sliced into 1/4 -inch-thick rings
2-1/2 cups vegetable broth or water; more as needed
2 medium firm-ripe avocados pitted, peeled, and cut into large chunks
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/8 tsp red chile powder; more for serving
On a gas stove, turn a burner to high and set the poblano directly over the flame, turning it with tongs, until completely charred, 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, on an electric stove, heat the broiler on high and char the poblano on all sides on a baking sheet placed directly under the broiler. Put the poblano in a bowl, cover, and set aside to steam and loosen the skin. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and cut the poblano into 1/4 -inch dice.
Heat an 11- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook, turning a few times, until soft and browned in places, about 5 minutes.
In a blender, purée until smooth all but 1 Tbs. of the poblano, the onion, broth, avocado, cilantro, parsley, marjoram or oregano (if using), 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, cumin, coriander, and 1 tsp. salt. Blend in the yogurt. Season to taste with more salt. Chill well.
Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until they begin to pop and color a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice, the chile powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt and stir until the juice has evaporated, leaving a film on the pan.
Season the soup to taste with salt and thin with broth if necessary. Divide among 6 cups or small bowls and garnish with the pumpkin seeds, the remaining chopped poblano, and a pinch of red chile powder.