Crabby Avocado Soup

Here is what I learned while cooking this week's Magazine Recipe Review: when life gives you so-so guacamole, make Chilled Avocado Soup with Crab.

When you live in a city, as I do, the summer issues of food magazines can get a little depressing—all those articles on backyard barbecues and beach side clam bakes. I'm lucky enough my front stoop faces the sun; forget having the outdoor space for a souped-up grill, or even a tiny hibachi.

After enviously eying all the recipes in the June issue of Food & Wine for homemade barbecue sauce and grilled steaks, not to mention Jean-Georges' Spit-Roasted Suckling Pig, I decided to make the Guacamole with Charred Jalapeño and Scallions.

I don't even have a grill pan, so using author Grace Parisi's tip for a "brighter, crunchier guacamole," I skipped the charring step and stirred in the jalapeño, scallions, and garlic raw. The recipe came together in under five minutes, and while it was perfectly creamy and lime-y, it was also somehow lacking. Perhaps it needed some chopped tomatoes, or a dash or two of cumin?

Fortunately, there were sub-recipes included in the article, including one for Chilled Avocado Soup with Crab. Simply whir a cup of the guacamole in the blender with a few other ingredients, and voilà—a whole new dish. The soup was thick, a little bit sweet, and a little bit briny. Along with some baked tortilla chips and peach salsa, and paired with a tall glass of lemonade, it made a perfect lunch. If only I had my own pool to eat it by...

Chilled Avocado Soup with Crab

Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

Crabby Avocado Soup

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About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: This Week in Recipes

Ingredients

  • For the guacamole:
  • 3 medium scallions, white and tender green parts only
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the soup:
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Jumbo lump crab meat
  • Crème fraîche, fried tortilla strips, and finely chopped chives (optional)

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl toss the scallions, garlic, and jalapeño with the vegetable oil. Grill over moderately high heat turning occasionally until charred all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let cool.

  2. 2

    Finely chop the scallions and jalapeño and transfer to a medium bowl. Peel the garlic cloves, mash them to a paste and add them to the bowl. Scoop the avocado flesh into the bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Fold the cilantro and lime juice into the guacamole, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

  3. 3

    Variation: For a brighter, crunchier guacamole, finely chop the scallions, garlic, and jalapeño and stir them in raw.

  4. 4

    To make the soup: In a blender, puree 1 cup of the guacamole with the cold buttermilk, bottled clam juice, ice water, and fresh lime juice. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into 4 bowls and top with jumbo lump crab meat. Garnish with crème fraîche, fried tortilla strips, and finely chopped chives, if desired.

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