Dish up some Mayan Cuisine

Crema de Aguacate

Avocado Soup

From Mayan Cuisine by Daniel Hoyer

Serves 4 to 6

Both hot and cold versions of this soup are found around the Yucatan. This recipe may be used either way. I use the cold version as an appetizer or palate cleanser in a multi-course meal and serve it warm with some crispy bacon crumbles or chicharrones (pork rinds) along with some white rice as a light supper of lunch entree.

1/2 cup chopped white onion

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup tomato, charred, then chopped

1 or 2 serrano, yellow hot, New Mexico green or jalapeno chiles OR 1/2 chile habanero, well charred and seeded

4 cloves garlic, roasted and peeled

2 to 3 Mexican avocado leaves, toasted and ground OR 1/4 teaspoon toasted and ground anise seed

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 large ripe avocados (Hass is the preferred variety)

1/3 cup light cream of half-and-half

1 tablespoon lime juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish suggestions: Chopped cilantro, thinly slices radishes, tortilla chips, chicharrones, crumbled bacon, pickled red onions, lime slices and sour creams or Mexican crema.

1. Saute the onion in the oil until soft, clear and just beginning to brown. Add the diced tomato and fry for 2 minutes or more.

2. Add the chile, garlic, ground avocado leaves or anise seed along with the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Peel, pit and coarsely chop the avocados and add to the broth with the cream and lime juice.

4. Puree in a blender, adjust for salt and pepper and serve warm with your choice of garnishes of chill to serve cold later.

NOTE: After chilling, reheat the soup gently to serve it warm, it will burn easily and may separate with extended cooking.

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