James Beard Award–winning chef and all-around food hero Hugh Acheson’s new cookbook, The Broad Fork, was inspired by the questions asked at farmers’ markets. Acheson demystifies varietals and underused veggies with in-depth analyses, seasonal recipes and other forms of fruit- and vegetable-forward culinary encouragement. So why avocado soup? Well, can you think of a better vehicle for succulent crabmeat?
The trick to chilled soups is to realize that flavors dull when they are cold, so you really have to put some punch into it. Lime, yogurt, cilantro stems, sautéed shallots, and tomatillos work to play a great backup to the beautiful ripe avocado.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1/2 cup husked and chopped tomatillos
- 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
- 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro stems
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 large ripe California Hass avocados
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- kosher salt
- 1/2 pound tomatoes, minced
- 1/2 pound crabmeat, picked over for cartilage and shells
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For the soup
Place a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced shallots and cook for 4 minutes, until softened. Put the shallots into a blender and add the tomatillos, half of the jalapeño, the stock, cilantro stems, lime zest, and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice. Puree until smooth.
Pit the avocados and scoop out the flesh. Add the avocado flesh and the yogurt to the blender, and puree until very smooth. Season with kosher salt to taste. Keep the soup in the fridge until ready to serve.
When you are ready to serve the soup, combine the tomato, the remaining 1 teaspoon of lime juice, the rest of the jalapeño, the crab, the chopped cilantro leaves, and kosher salt to taste in a bowl. Toss gently with a spoon. Divide the soup among individual bowls, and garnish each one with a scoop of the tomato/crab mixture. Eat.