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