Please note: I received free samples of California Avocados mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
When the team at Recipe Redux presented the opportunity to participate in a “Cooking with California Avocados” Recipe Challenge, I was like “sign me up!”. When I received the box of beautiful avocados, I was inspired.
|Glorious California Avocados|
I first discovered avocados as a teenager. I had never heard of (or even laid eyes on) an avocado until my favorite member of my favorite band at the time proclaimed that his favorite food was avocado. Like any red-blooded Teen Beat reading girl of the time, I ran out to the grocery store to find what must be an AMAZING food to be his favorite.
Now, keep in mind that I was a chubby girl growing up. So not a lot of healthy food crossed my lips until I was in college (and well past my “I have to eat whatever my favorite rock star eats” faze). Imagine my, lets call it surprise, when I had my first bite. For some reason I thought avocados would be sweet….like, you know, fruit. Oh the disappointment to my young, untrained palate.
It wasn’t until I discovered guacamole that I fell in love with the avocado. It’s one of my favorite things about Mexican food…the more, the better as far as I am concerned.
With lots of good-for-you monounsaturated fat (think olive oil), folate, fiber and vitamins E, C, K, they are a great way to add healthy fat to your veggies which, lucky (and yummy) for us, helps the body absorb all the good nutrients and vitamins veggies have to offer. While most of us can find avocados in supermarkets throughout the year, they are at peak season from now until roughly September. Now is the perfect time to embrace a little culinary adventure and discover new delicious ways to enjoy avocados (sans the tortilla chip).
I decided to go with a cold, spicy Thai-inspired soup for this challenge. While my first instinct was to go the salad route, I decided that I wanted to try something new for me…and this certainly qualified.
|Chilled Creamy Avocado Coconut Soup with Poached Shrimp www.kindred-kitchen.com|
The recipe is super easy and great on those hot days when the thought of turning on the oven (or even firing up the grill) makes you want to plunge into a tub full of crushed ice. It can easily be served as a main course with a nice big salad (though it might also make a great appetizer for a summer soiree). Feel free to alter the amount of Thai chili paste and agave to your liking. Or add more shrimp for a heartier entree.
NOTE: Depending on the size of your blender or food processor, you may have to make the soup in two batches–simply divide all of the ingredients in half and combine the finished batches in a large bowl before serving (being sure to taste each batch individually and once it’s all combined).
|Perfect summer soup www.kindred-kitchen.com|
2013 Kindred-Kitchen / Nancy Granada
Chilled Thai-Inspired Creamy Avocado Coconut Soup with Poached Shrimp
servings: 4 | time: about 20 minutes plus about an hour for chilling
Tags: avocado, shrimp, soup
12-16 jumbo shrimp, deveined and peeled (tails left on) (plan on 2 shrimp per person if serving as an appetizer; 3-4 if serving as a main course)
2 large ripe California Avocados
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 small cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp. salt
1 can lite coconut milk
up to 4 cans of water (use the empty coconut can)
1-2 TBSP. Thai green curry paste (to taste, start with 1 and work up to the amount to suit your spice tolerance)
1-2 TBSP. agave nectar (to taste)
4 TBSP. chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (toast in 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes until golden brown)
4 green onions (scallion), chopped
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer. Add a couple of large pinches of sea salt
2. Add the shrimp, cover and cook over a low simmer for 3-4 minutes until cooked and no longer translucent
3. Immediately remove shrimp from pan and place in a bowl of iced water. Set aside while you make the soup
Make the soup:
4. Scoop the flesh of the avocado from the skin, discard the pit and peel
5. Place the avocado In the bowl of a large food processor or high-powered blender. Add the ginger, garlic and salt and pulse on high a few times until it starts to break down and become creamy
6. With the appliance on low, slowly stream in the coconut milk. Fill one of the empty cans with water and slowly stream into mixture. Add up to 3 more cans of water (feel free to adjust the amount of water for a thinner or thicker consistency to your liking)
7. Turn the appliance off and add the green curry paste (to taste, start with 1 TBSP. and add more as you need it…tasting along the way), agave nectar (again, to taste), cilantro and lime juice
8. Blend on low until everything is well combined then switch to high (or puree) for about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust salt, curry paste and agave to liking (you don’t want it too sweet, so be judicious with the agave)
9. Place soup in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
10. Remove the shrimp from the ice water, cover and refrigerate for at lease 1 hour
Ladle equal amounts of soup into 4 large bowls (or six smaller bowls if serving as an appetizer). Place the shrimp in the center and top with a few sprigs of cilantro, and a sprinkle each of the chopped green onion and toasted coconut