Friday, May 27, 2011

Cold Tomatillos and Avocado Soup--A Green Gazpacho

After many rainy days we have suffered this month, suddenly we got caught in a very hot weather. With temperature above 90 F, it feels more like July than May. I have already prepared some recipes to post, but these hot days made me crave for a different food than I was planning to share, so I decided to make a cold soup to help myself cope with the heatwave and, by the same token, to start the summer cooking season.

There are many well known cold soups worldwide, and even in Poland, where summers are not typically Mediterranean, we have a couple of them with the leading cold beet and yogurt soup. It is absolutely my favorite--so very Polish and at the same time unique in the composition of vegetables and herbs used in it. My second favorite is the Spanish gazpacho, which I can also eat by gallons. Those wonderful, purely vegetarian soups not only help to chill, but also are very low in calories and healthy. Both are loved by my kids, who typically are not great vegetable eaters, so I am always very happy to make these soups as often as I can.

Being fascinated by food I look constantly for new and inspiring ideas. Recently, in a small Spanish booklet advertising pots, I found a recipe for tomatillos and avocado summer soup. It was a simple (two-ingredient) and a very exciting recipe. I could imagine how tangy tomatillos would complement the mild and delicate taste of avocados, and I have been curious to try this soup since winter. Finally, the right day came. I made it yesterday.

This soup is very original, even compared to other cold soups, not only because of the generous use of oil, but also because avocado makes it quite rich. If you are not familiar with tomatillos, you may be surprised how differently their taste than the regular red tomatoes. Because this soup is is more filling than a regular gazpacho, you can turn it into an interesting starter, for example at large outdoor party, by serving small amounts of it in petite glasses.

If you are a fan of cold soups please try this one and I do not think you will be disappointed.

Cold Tomatillos and Avocado Soup
Serves 6-8 people

2 lb fresh tomatillos,
2 ripe Haas avocados,
1 large garlic clove,
1/2 cup olive oil,
1/4 cup vinegar, preferably Jerez, but any white vinegar (e.g., cider or rice) can be used,
1 tsp sugar,
salt and freshly ground pepper.

1. Peel off the tomatillos from their "papery" shells. Cut them in quarters and place in a food processor.
2. Peel the avocados, remove the stones, and add their flesh to the food processor.
3. Add garlic olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and run the processor until all the ingredients are pure and have the consistency of a cream soup.
4. Transfer the soup to a large container and chill for at least four hours before serving, but the soup would be even better on the next day.

Serve drizzled with olive oil on top.