I think I can safely assume that everyone is sick of winter by now, especially those of you in the central and eastern parts of the country who just got socked with another huge snowstorm. Outside my house I have seen some robins in the bare trees, but they’re wet and shivering and singing a sad song. While there’s nothing we can do to warm things up outside, you can warm up your insides and bring a little bit of spring into your kitchen with this bright and fresh Avocado Soup.
Avocados sometimes get a bad rap because of their high fat content, but they contain the heart-healthy, monounsaturated kind of fat. Besides that, they can help lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and protect against heart disease and stroke. They’re a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium and folate, and they’re very low in sodium and cholesterol-free.
Also known as alligator pears because of their shape, green skin and rough texture (the Haas variety), avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable. I found out a lot of interesting facts about the avocado, but the most curious one was that the avocado got its name from the ancient Aztec word for “testicle.” Hmmmm.
Avocados are abundant right now, but if you have trouble finding some that are ripe, you can speed up the ripening process by placing them in a paper bag for a day or two. One more tip: in order to retain their nutritional content, avocados should either be eaten raw or heated gently and not cooked.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chopped medium onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 10-ounce can green enchilada sauce (mild or medium)
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 large ripe avocados, chopped or 3 medium
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Juice of 1 large lime
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chopped fresh avocado, tomato and cilantro sprigs for garnish
- Lime wedges on the side
- In a soup pot over medium heat, add oil and cook the onions, bell pepper, poblano pepper and garlic for 6 to 8 minutes or until the onions and peppers are tender. Stir in the cumin, enchilada sauce, and 3 cups of the broth. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the avocados and crushed red pepper. Purée in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Return to the pot and warm gently. If the soup is too thick, add additional broth. Season with lime juice, cilantro (if using), salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with chopped avocado, tomato and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce.