Guacamole soup

guacamole soup

Coriander is an interesting herb, isn’t it? It shows up in so many different cuisines throughout the world. You can use every part of the plant, and the leaves and fruits taste quite different from each other. I’ve never encountered the root, but I’ll keep an eye out for it, because it sounds intriguing. Apparently, coriander was cultivated by ancient Egyptians and Greeks. They’ve found traces it at various archeological sites. It’s hard to get my mind around that, in so many ways! Coriander is also fascinating, I think, because the leaves taste so different to different people. To some they have a lovely herby, slightly citrus-y flavor. To others they taste like soap or stink bugs. (I love stink bugs, I really do, I think they’re adorable, but I wouldn’t want to eat them. I’m a vegetarian for heaven’s sake!) It’s such distinct proof that humans experience the world differently.

This soup came about because I bought a job lot (as Thompson and Thomson would say) of avocados. Avocadoes? Avocadi? They were at that moment of perfect ripeness. The first night we had one on a salad, but I continue to be bitterly disappointed by lettuce and tomatoes this time of year. So the next day, whilst whiling away the hours at work, I had the idea to use them in a soup (the avocados, not the whiled-away hours. I wonder how whiled-away-hour soup would taste?). When I considered the various flavor combinations I could use, I kept returning to the seasonings I use for quacamole (I make a mean guacamole). Viz: Cilantro, cumin, chile, lime and honey. So that’s how we did it. I added cauliflower, because I seem to be incapable of making soup without cauliflower lately, and because I thought the puréed cauliflower would save the soup from a certain slimy texture that puréed avocados sometimes attain. (I’m sorry, avocado, but it’s true) Well, the soup came out very nice. A little of the warmth of summery flavors combined with the warmth of a wintery soup.

Here’s MF DOOM’s Coriander.

2 T olive oil
2 or 3 cups caulflower florets (About half a small cauliflower, stems removed, florets cut into smallish pieces
1 shallot – minced
1 large clove garlic – finely minced
3 avocados, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup beer
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1 t. oregano
1 t chile flakes or cayenne (Or to taste – start with a bit now and add more later if you like it hot!)
Juice of half a lime
1 T honey
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves (or to taste. If it tastes like stink bugs to you, I’d leave it out altogehter!!)
salt and plenty of black pepper
1 T butter (optional, it’s vegan without this!)

1/2 tomato, diced

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallot, cook for a few minutes till it starts to brown. Add the garlic, chile flakes and oregano. Cook for a few minutes. Add the cauliflower. Cook till the cauliflower starts to brown and soften, then add the beer. Cook till the beer is starting to reduce and become syrupy, and add the avocado, the cumin and the coriander. Cook for a few minutes, then add water to cover by about an inch.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 or 20 minutes till the cauliflower is softish.

Add the lime juice, honey, butter, salt, pepper and most of the cilantro (save some to stir at the end, or for garnish). Carefully blend the soup in batches till it’s nice and smooth.

Return to the pot to warm through, and taste to make sure all the flavors are balanced – sweet, spicy, salty, tart.

Serve with a garnish of diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.


4 thoughts on “Guacamole soup

  1. I like the picture, I like any picture with red, green and gold! Nice composition with the glass against the teak board and the white linen, A+.

    • Thanks, Tony. You’re photographic encouragement means a lot to me. I’ve been applying to these sites that publish pictures of food, and my list of rejections is getting very long! Still, it helps to push me to try to take better pictures.

  2. I love cilantro, as we call it, I’ve grown it many times but the problem is that it goes to seed VERY fast, so ideally the seeds should be planted continously over a period and I never remember. I think that I became aware of it in the 60/70’s with the influx of Thai and Vietnamese into S. California, I just love the smell of it in the garden. Avocados ditto, can’t live in S. Cal and not be aware of avocados. We have a half dozen basket from Costco every week in our grocery shopping so every night there’s a salad with avocados. We’re just a bit too far north to grow them, I think the cut off is somewhere around Santa Barbara.

    • I’ve tried growing cilantro, too. You’re right about it going to seed too fast. I tend to use most of the leaves for one recipe, anyway, so it never lasts long!

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