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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Chilled Peruvian Avocado Soup

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Today, I am going to give you a really interesting recipe for a Peruvian Avocado soup I found in Sarah Leah Chase's cookbook called Nantucket Open-House Cookbook, which is published by Workman Publishing. She got the recipe from a Peruvian chef who worked at The Ballroom and here it is:

Ingredients
4 Hass avocados, completely ripe
1 Tablespoon frech lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
2 small Jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 cup minced celery
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons AP flour
2 quarts chix stock (or veg. stock)
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish
1/2 yellow pepper seeded and diced
1 red pepper seeded and diced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

Procedure
Peel and pit avocados and put in a bowl of cold water to cover mixed with the lemon juice. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, and celery and cook 5 minutes, then turn pan down to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occassionaly until tender. Add tarragon, cumin and nutmeg, and cook a few minutes. Then add the flour, stir, and cook for 1 minute more. Next, add the Chicken stock slowly and stir to combine. Bring mixture to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes more. Now let cool 15 minutes. Drain the avocados and cut into pieces. Add to the soup and process in blender or food processor until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and chill until nice and cold. Ladle into chilled bowls and top with the diced pepper and herbs.

Great for a light lunch with some corn bread and a little heirloom tomato salad. Try it!