Even as a big-time fan of soup, I’m the first to admit that it takes a back seat in summer cooking. Not because it’s a hot dish — we still drink coffee and make big pots of barbecue baked beans afterall — but maybe because it’s just so cool-weather-comforting that it almost seems a waste to have soup in the summer, when that big warm hug in a bowl just isn’t necessary.
But summertime doesn’t mean soup is left completely in the lurch. Chilled classics like gazpacho and cucumber are refreshing and so easy to make, you don’t even have to turn on the stove: it’s all done in the blender (one of my favorite parts of summer soups!). Avocado soup is a new-to-me-favorite that’s hit my table many times this season, and I wanted to share my twist on it with you today.
You’ll find most avocado soup recipes on the interwebs have guacamole leanings — lots of cilantro with a hit of chili peppers. Quite naturally, I think, because guacamole is summer’s most perfect food.
But when I first made avocado soup, I had something else in mind: basil. Lemon and basil, to be exact. I’m completely smitten with my lemon basil plant, and its perfectly flavored leaves have gone into everything from vinaigrettes to caprese salads to pasta dishes. (You don’t need lemon basil for this recipe to work, though — regular basil will do just fine with extra lemon zest.)
A guacamole-flavored soup is a thing of beauty (holla!), but I really love this basily, puckery riff on avocado soup.
I don’t know how the amazing avocado does it, but it manages to be both light and creamy-rich at the same time. A big salad and a chilled cup of avocado soup is pretty much the perfect lunch in my book. Oh, and it’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-, egg-, and nut-free, so you can serve this worry-free to a crowd.
- 2 ripe avocados, roughly chopped (peeled, pit discarded)
- 1 cup coconut milk (I used lite)
- 1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (a mild, light tasting broth works great)
- zest from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (one lemon)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon basil, chopped (or use regular basil with extra lemon zest)
- 2 teaspoons shallots, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until very smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavors blend (can be made the night before). Taste, and add more salt and/or another squeeze of lemon juice, if necessary. Note that the soup will taste very mild when first blended, but don't add salt at this point. Wait until it's set for the minimum time before making seasoning adjustments.