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Avocado Soup with Shrimp and Salsa

Avocado Soup with Shrimp and Salsa
Usually served chilled, this Latin American soup is also delicious at room temperature. The zesty tomato salsa provides a lively contrast to the rich and creamy flavor of the avocado. Fresh cooked crabmeat can be substituted for the shrimp, if you like.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and
      diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock, or as needed
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the tomato salsa:

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup finely minced red onion
  • 2 or 3 jalapeño chilies, finely minced, with
      or without seeds, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon or lime juice, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 12 to 16 cooked shrimp, peeled and diced

Directions:

Working in 2 or 3 batches, combine the avocados, stock and cream in a blender. Puree until smooth. Adjust the amount of cream used as needed to arrive at a good soup consistency. Transfer to a bowl. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until cold but not overly chilled, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the tomato salsa: In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, chilies, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

To serve, remove the soup from the refrigerator, taste and adjust the seasonings. Ladle the soup into chilled individual bowls. Top each serving with some of the diced shrimp and a generous dollop of the salsa.
Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Soup for Supper, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 1998).