Remember that time I told you guys I didn’t really like guacamole? Well that was over two years ago and I was young and stupid. Since then, I’ve gotten really into avocados–on top of my burgers, in my salads, with my quinoa–but I’d yet to experiment with warm avocado. For some reason, it seemed a bit icky. Avocados are the epitome of cool creaminess, and like cucumbers, watermelon and other solidly “summer” food, something that should only be enjoyed in uncooked form.
But when I was home, my mom unearthed a bag of sorry-looking specimens that I’m pretty sure she bought in 1973 (yet another casualty of the downstairs fridge). She somehow managed to pack them in my bag when I was coming back to NYC, so I was stuck with a bunch of soft, browned-in-far-too-many-places avocados that were a little too “aged” for me to attempt to eat raw. And thus, the poorly formed search phrase “warm avocado recipes” was born.
Despite my reservations with heated avocado, I picked this chicken and avocado soup because it used multiple avocados and looked super easy. Plus, I’ve been on a bit of a Mexican kick recently, and you can hardly go wrong there. I didn’t really know what to expect though, so I was pleasantly surprised to taste the final product.
The lime juice and hot sauce are a nice balance to the creamy, rich avocado, and the chicken manages to take on plenty of flavor during its brief simmer. Topped with crushed tortilla chips and an extra swirl of hot sauce, it’s a tangy, slightly spicy soup that’s warming without being filling. This is the second time I’ve been wrong about avocados, and if this is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
Chicken and Avocado Soup
Adapted from Food & Wine
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed
– 2 ripe Haas avocados, skin and pit removed
– juice of half a lime
– 1 tablespoon hot sauce, plus more to taste (I used Cholula; the original recipe recommends Tabasco)
– 1-1/2 cups water
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 small onion, chopped
– 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
– 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
1) In a blender, combine the garlic, jalapeño, avocados, lime juice, hot sauce, water, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
2) Heat the oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
3) Stir the chicken into the pot and cook until just done, 2-3 minutes. Add the avocado puree, and cook for 10 minutes. Serve with additional hot sauce and lime wedges, and top with crushed tortilla chips.