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Cold Avocado Soup with Chile-Lime Pepitas

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Serves six.

  • by Deborah Madison from Fine Cooking
    Issue 103

Sumptuous yet light (hint: use yogurt instead of cream), this soup makes an elegant starter. Skillet-roasted pepitas with lime and chile add a welcome crunch.

  • 1 medium poblano chile
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into 1/4 -inch-thick rings
  • 2-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados (6 to 7 oz. each), pitted, peeled, and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. 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
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/8 tsp. pure New Mexico 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 pepitas, the remaining poblano, and a few pinches of chile powder.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 220; Fat (g): 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): 13; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): 260; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 6;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Delicious - easy recipe, I used high quality greek yogurt which is very creamy. I trippled the recipe for a party of 18 and it was a big hit with everyone. This is a keeper for a hot summer day!

I made this soup yesterday for our gourmet group Mexican-themed dinner and it was fabulous! Velvety texture and a beautifully complex flavor. The Chile-Lime Pepitas are addicting! A few additions: I added a little cayenne pepper which gave the soup just a very slight kick. Also used a little sour cream in place of the yogurt. Will definitely make again this summer!

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