Sunday, April 22, 2012

Avocado Soup with Tomatillos and Orange: Creamy, Cool and Spicy for an Earth Day Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Happy Earth Day! Reducing, reusing and recycling are top of mind today and for me that means using up what's in the fridge rather than having to toss it and waste food. Sure, you can just eat up delicious leftovers, but sometimes it is fun to repurpose them into something even better. Like using up every last bit of this fabulous Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Serranos, Roasted Onions and Cilantro that I made earlier in the week. The salsa has  already been enjoyed on its own and mixed into guacamole, so when I saw the recipe for Avocado Soup with Tomatillos and Orange in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen, I knew that my last half a cup or so would be put to great use.

Although it looks quite a bit like guacamole in a bowl (not that there is anything wrong with that), this soup has a thinner consistency and more complex flavors from the orange zest and the broth. It's smooth and silky and very cooling and refreshing to eat. Rick recommends a rich beef broth, but I subbed my own vegetarian garlic broth blend, pumped up with red miso and tamari to give it a rich somewhat "meaty" taste--my recipe changes are in red below. 

Because the soup is so silky/creamy, I thought some added texture would be good, so I added some crispy strips of tortilla, making them long and thin and placing them vertically in the cup to give it some fun flair. 

Avocado Soup With Orange and Tomatillo
From "Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen"
(Makes About 6 Small Servings)

Roast 6 cloves of garlic on a griddle or skillet over medium heat, turning regularly until soft. Peel and puree in a blender or food processor with 2/3 cup of the Tomatillo Salsa, 2 ripe avocados, about a tablespoon of orange zest and 2/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro.

Stir in 2 1/3 cups beef broth (the richer the better) and season with salt. (I used my own vegetarian broth "brew" of my basic vegetable-garlic broth with 2 tsp tamari and 1 Tbsp red miso paste stirred in and omitted the additional salt) 

Serve cool with a dollop of salsa and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro on top. (I topped my soup with the salsa and some corn tortilla "spikes"--made by slicing up a couple of corn tortillas with a pizza cutter, tossing them with about a teaspoon of olive oil and sauteing in a pan over medium heat until crisp and lightly-browned.)

Notes/Results: A simple and very tasty soup. It is cool and creamy with a gentle heat from the salsa that makes it a pleasure to eat. The orange flavor comes through nicely and the crispy tortilla strips add a textural contrast to the smooth soup. I know some people are not into cool or cold soups but with the flavors in this one, it is just so refreshing that way that I encourage you to try it. This would also be a great soup for dunking a cheesy quesadilla or a grilled cheese. It's rich--so a small cup as a starter, or even serving it in small shot glasses at a party would work well. This was a fun use for the salsa leftovers, quick and easy and I would definitely make it again.

Our theme this coming week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is From the Earth. Although in the pictures with the tortilla strips, the soup looks a bit like a sea monster, it is composed of ingredients straight from the earth and it's a bright and pretty Earth Day green! ;-) You can see what the other IHCC peeps made by following the links on the post (it will be up starting Monday--I am just a bit early this week).

I am also linking this soup up at Sunday Night Soup Night, a weekly seasonal soup event hosted by Debbie over at Easy Natural Food.

We have some soups and salads waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look.

Tigerfish of has a Clear-Broth Mushroom (Shiitake, Woodear, Crimini) Soup to share and says, "When I conjured the image of this clear mushroom soup, there came Chef Ming Tsai in Dr. Oz show talking about a super mushroomy soup for super immunity. ... Pureed thick cream-based mushroom soup or light, clear-broth mushroom soup for you? I like both but can definitely down a few more bowls of clear soups any day, so clear broth mushroom soup for me, please!"

Corina of Searching for Spice made this creamy Sweet Potato, Lentil and Tahini Soup and says, "Well, it’s still soup weather out there and after my success with carrot and tahini soup,  I was eager to experiment more with tahini in soups.  The vegetables were basically what I had left in the fridge so could easily be changed for whatever you have.   It’s amazing that just a little bit of tahini makes the lentils taste really creamy.  I know it doesn’t look that pretty or appetizing in the picture, but if you like lentils and tahini then I’m sure you would love this.

Simona of briciole has a nourishing bowl of Minestra di Verdure Stile Ribollita (Ribollita-Inspired Vegetable Soup) to share and says, "I never had ribollita when visiting Tuscany, which freed me from memory-based constraints. I had the intention to stay close to the tradition, but in the end I took liberties, so, I decided to call the soup I made for the event "ribollita-inspired." However, by using some things I had in the vegetable crisper (mostly from my vegetable patch), I was true to a philosophy that is dear to my heart: you use up everything you have, trying to turn it into something flavorful and healthy."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog made two soups this week. First up this colorful Carrot Ginger Comfort Soup. She says, "I'm starting to come down with a sore throat and a cold. I was feeling chilly,  so, I wanted something hot to eat that could be made quickly. I had some sweet organic carrots in the fridge and a peice of  fresh ginger. I made the two ingredients into a quick soup that turned out to be surprisingly delicious.  It is gluten free, fat free, low calorie, and vegan and the color is bright and appealing."

Judee also made this diet-friendly Weight-Loss Artichoke Soup and says, "This soup has a great flavor for a low calorie, low fat vegetable broth.  It is made from frozen artichokes, red cabbage, spinach and tofu."

Debbie of Easy Natural Food says, "Tom Kha Gai Soup is a Thai classic, and one of our all-time favorite soups! It is a soup with chicken cooked in a broth of coconut milk that has been infused with the flavors from lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Despite how much we like it, I’ve never tried making it at home before. I think I had convinced myself that there was no way I would be able to even come close to getting an authentic flavor. But provided you have the right (authentic) ingredients, Tom Kha Gai is surprisingly easy and very tasty to make at home."

Janet of The Taste Space has a soup and a salad entry this week. Her soup is this exotic Root Vegetable Mulligatawny. Janet says, "Mulligatawny is a British Indian curry-flavoured soup and literally means “pepper water”. However, recipes seem to be so varied that anything goes. Tess‘ version of mulligatawny is primarily red lentils, lemon and cilantro, whereas this is a creamy, tomato-spiked vegetable curry-soup brightened with tamarind. The leftovers were definitely more of a curry consistency.

For her salad, Janet made this Warm Mediterranean Chickpea and Spinach Salad and says, "This salad is so good that I have no reservations serving it guests.  Delicious slightly warm but equally good as leftovers brought up to room temperature. Of course, please double the recipe if making it for a group.  I don’t know who wouldn’t like a warm chickpea and spinach salad filled with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and lots of herbs."

Joanne of Eats Well With Others offers up a tasty Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and says, "The majorly good news about this pasta, though, is that it actually won't really stick to your thighs in any way, shape or form.  In fact, just the opposite.  Made with whole wheat pasta and stuffed with asparagus, kale, and tomatoes, this is veritable health food. Not that it tastes like it.  My brother ate at least two and a half servings of it and his only comment was, "the only thing I didn't like was the tomatoes". I'd call that a win."  

Finally we have some lovely little sandwiches from Graziana at Erbe in Cucina, these Danish Canapes with Thyme (Smoerrebroed). Graziana says, "A couple of years ago I tried many Danish recipes, and my favourite was the smoerrebroed (or smørrebrød), canapes with rye bread or white bread, and many combination of ingredients: Danish butter, fried fish, Hungarian salami, radishes, tomatoes, Dana Blue cheese, tartar of beef, boiled or raw eggs... For my miniatures lunch I made some tiny smoerrebroed: rye bread spread with Danish butter flavored with thyme and garnished with cherry tomatoes for the miniature effect."

Some wonderful creations this week! Thanks to all who joined in. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy healthy Earth Day and week!



  1. Guacamole soup, eh? Sounds delicious! Thanks for another great round-up, Deb!

    1. Not quite guacamole but close. ;-) Thanks for joining in Janet!

  2. Everything in that soup blows me away. I love cilantro, avocado, and tomatillos!  I wonder if I could make it with a vegetarian broth...

    1. Vegyid2,
      Yes, as I noted in the post, I replaced the beef stock with a garlic-veggie stock & added a little tamari & red miso to make it richer and have more depth. Vegan and it worked perfectly. Just use a broth with plenty of rich flavor.

  3. Beautiful, Deb!! OH my goodness, you don't know how badly I want a bowl of this right now. I love the way you served it - I'm totally down with sea monsters ;P

  4. The tortilla "spikes" definitely makes it more interesting! :)

  5. Interesting presentation. love the spikes and the green colour of the soup.

  6. I love your soup with the tortilla strips, it looks wonderful and I guess it was delicious too!

  7. Really green soups like this always sound so refreshing to me!  Like eating them will make me feel like I'm glowing.  Love that.  And fabulous round-up!

  8. Natashya Kitchen PuppiesApril 23, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    Beautiful! Great colour, and I love anything that starts with the roasting of garlic. Love the tortilla spikes too! 

  9. I am still amazed at your post of gauc with tomatillo sauce and now this beautiful soup!   These both sound sooooo gooood.

  10. Oh my!  That looks so good!  Just like your guacamole, this has all of the flavors & ingredients I love.  Love the addition of the tortilla strips. :) 

  11. Great soup! Love the combination of flavors, and the crispy tortillas sticking out of the soup are a great effect! Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon.

  12. Lovely soup! Never thought of adding orange zest to a soup! Great idea with the corn tortillas!

  13. Hey Deb, I just featured this one too! Couldn't resist, it looks so amazing :)

  14. I am going to try your "augmented" vegetable broth. It sounds like an excellent idea. Lovely roundup of dishes, as usual, so very different!

  15. I like your way of recycling!  The soup looks so cool and delicious.

  16. What a great combo of flavors in that avocado soup! That sounds great!

  17. beautiful pictures of a cool and creamy looking soup. i love the tortilla strips in it!

  18. Yvette MwcadventureApril 30, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Wow that really sounds amazing this soup, i am getting really curious about tomatillos too. But i still haven't found a place that sells theme overhere...


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