Best Enjoyed Poolside

charred poblano for Cold Mexican Avocado Soup

In case you wondered, it’s still hot in Texas.  When the thermometer in the car reads 100, 102, 107 (no joke) I get kind of mesmerized by disbelief and obsessed with revealing the big news to everyone I encounter as if 1. They don’t already know and 2. They’ve never seen it before.  I guess I’ll start being a Texan and stop being a Carolinian relocated to Texas once my fascination with the weather subsides. In the mean time I keep trying to figure out how to prevent my make-up from sliding off my face……nice visual, huh? Kind of scary movie creepy…..

You might recall my post from last year about Caribbean Gazpacho with cool cucumber and juicy pineapple chunks. It, like most chilled soups, is most flavorful when enjoyed without the blanket of a perfectly air-conditioned dining room. They are meant to refresh, cool down, perk you up and quench parched taste buds. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy them inside, but you’re really missing the point and therefore the pleasure if you aren’t “glistening” a bit when you dive in.

My husband and I have always been fans of avocados and in Texas you can find perfectly ripe ones any time of day in just about any store that carries provisions. My crystal ball (bet you didn’t know I had one) has been busy spinning images of silky avocado ice cream, chunky guac, spicy avocado for Cold Mexican Avocado Soupavocado toast and a cold Mexican avocado soup! Poblano peppers, cilantro, Mexican oregano, chili powder and lime meld together to create the perfect first course for a light summer meal. I’d personally love to pair it with sweet butter roasted shrimp, however, my other half is not a fan…ah hem….. what will we do with him? Instead we built tomato bacon sandwiches (definitely not a shabby alternative) from extra-thick peppery slices and juicy heirlooms that we showered with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano – before lightly warming them under the broiler. There is something very satisfying, almost instinctually so, when you pair foods of contrasting temperatures.  After dinner my crystal ball had another vision….me in January counting the days until the mercury hits 100! I think I’m settling in just fine.

Cold Avocado Soup with Chili-Lime Pepitas

Cold Avocado Soup with Chili-Lime Pepitas

Adapted from Fine Cooking.

Make an outdoor event out of it and take it poolside, lakeside, to the park or zoo. Soup is so portable, but chilled soup is even easier to tote around. Just pour into a thermos and throw in the ice chest, or make it special with individual containers and sweet little spoons.

Ingredients

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion (about 1 small)
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 3 ½ cups homemade chicken broth
  • 2 ripe avocados (about 20 oz total), pitted and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 8 oz crème fraiche

Instructions

  1. Position the oven rack on the highest groove and turn the broiler to Hi. Place the poblano on the rack and roast for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes in order to char all sides. It will become beautifully blistered with black flavor-packing blemishes. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it cool completely then peel off the skin, pull out the stem and remove the core and seeds. Give it a rough chop reserving a few tablespoons to garnish the soup with. You might want to finely dice the pepper that you plan to use for a garnish….for pretty sake.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Cook the onion until it’s nicely browned- about 5 minutes.
  3. Place the pepper and onion in a blender, along with the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the crème fraiche. Purée until creamy smooth. Depending on the capacity of your blender you may need to do this in two batches.
  4. Once puréed, blend in the crème fraiche.
  5. Tastes for seasoning and then pour into a container or bowl and chill overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  6. Garnish with Chili-Lime Pepitas and reserved roasted poblano pepper. I also like a sprinkling of Maldon sea salt.
http://www.glassjarsoupcompany.com/2013/08/16/best-enjoyed-poolside/

Chili-Lime Pepitas

Chili-Lime Pepitas

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp Ancho chili powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. In a small skillet (I used an 8”) heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the pepitas and cook until they begin to pop (about 3 minutes).
  3. Pour in the lime juice and remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir continuously until all the liquid has evaporated and the pepitas are glazed.
http://www.glassjarsoupcompany.com/2013/08/16/best-enjoyed-poolside/

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Who might you ask is nice? Just about everyone in Texas.  It sounds like an exaggeration, but I assure you it’s true.  Our relocation here has been met by a welcoming committee that extends far beyond our tiny (but valuable) collection of new acquaintances. Perfect strangers offer such a heartfelt welcome that they barely stop short of a big bear hug. They’re inclusive, helpful, excited and genuinely hopeful that you will be happy in their beloved state. I’m starting to wonder why everyone doesn’t move to Texas…..maybe it’s the heat. […]

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