Cooking 101

Chilled Avocado Soup can be a light lunch or an appetizer

Updated: 2013-06-19T00:27:12Z

By Andrew Mills

Johnson County Community College

Guacamole is great, but sometimes you want the avocado to take a different form in your Mexican menu.

Enter Johnson County Community College student chef Andrew Mills’ recipe for Chilled Avocado Soup.

Though it’s great as the smooth centerpiece for a light summer lunch, it’s equally great as the prelude to tacos, burritos or enchiladas, and makes the humble fare worthy of a party.

If you’ve always wondered how avocado soup can stay such a lovely green when the flesh of the fruit can turn dark when exposed to air, Mills says answer is in the acids. The acidity of the sherry and lemon juice in this recipe keep the soup a lovely pale green, and he said it will hold in the open air for a couple of hours. It’s definitely a dish to make the day you plan to serve it.

The preparation couldn’t be easier once you get the chicken stock prepared: simply put the ingredients into a blender, blend, strain and chill. If the soup is too thick, you can always add additional chicken stock. Conversely, if it’s too thin, add more avocado, Mills says.

Choosing the right garnish makes the soup even more of a showstopper. Try thinning the sour cream with a bit of milk and drizzling it on the surface of the soup in an attractive design. Arrange whole cilantro leaves on top, or add chopped cilantro for a bright green accent.

Chilled Avocado Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

5 tablespoons butter

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 whole chicken

3 quarts water

4 avocados, pitted and peeled

4 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup dry sherry

3 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons blackened seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

Cilantro, for garnish

Sour cream, for garnish

Melt butter in stock pot over low heat. Add carrot, onion and celery. Cover; cook over low heat until vegetables are tender. Add water and whole chicken to pot; bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer three hours.

Remove chicken from pot. Pull off about 10 ounces of meat and set aside. Reserve remaining meat and bones for another use. Strain stock and set aside.

In a large blender, place avocado, 4 cups chicken stock, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, sherry, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Process until smooth. Strain mixture to remove lumps. Cool thoroughly.

Cut chicken into spoon-sized pieces. In bowl, toss with blackened seasoning. Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté briefly. Allow to cool.

When ready to serve, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with cilantro, sour cream and blackened chicken.

Per serving, based on 6: 844 calories (81 percent from fat), 79 grams total fat (37 grams saturated), 216 milligrams cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 600 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.

Recipe and food styling by Andrew Mills, a third-semester student in the Johnson County Community College hospitality management program. He is an apprentice at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza.

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