Friday, February 10, 2017

Guacamole Soup

Ever come across the phrase "hot avocado" and thought "I need some of that in my life"? No? Well then you, my friend, are probably in the majority; and, believe it or not, the majority gets it right once in a while. 

But that is so not the point of Soupruary. The point is ably and succinctly demonstrated above by my lovely assistant (who just happened to be wearing a shirt reading "lovely" - COINCIDENCE??): get together, share an experience, accept help, maximize quality time every day, and bonus points for making the soup match the walls. 

Go back up to that first pic and check out Maya's postmodern plating. Her talent with a spoon is undeniable and she managed to keep everything pretty clean as she went, drizzling the soup with lime-cilantro cream and then popping in a little fresh tomato salad. She completed her tableside presentation by stirring my bowl for me, making sure the cream was incorporated and the tomatoes well distributed. What a pro.

If you said the title of this post to yourself, you probably pronounced it wrong. I'll have my lovely assistant demonstrate:

If you said it, though, with a skeptical hike of the eyebrow and a question mark at the end, you were also correct. This all started sometime last month when my dearest friend (and Maya-mum) Priya let me know that her precocious 3-year-old had requested "guacamole soup." Said request came with a full list of ingredients, even: guacamole, avocado, apple juice and powder. I stayed pretty close to that list, I must say, if you're willing to accept apple cider vinegar as an apple juice substitute. One thing I should have clarified with the author prior to attempting the recipe, though, whether this was meant to be served chilled. I'm not sure what the answer would have been, but I know what it should have been. 

I did find a recipe for guacamole soup online, a slow cooker jam that made sense for trying out on a weeknight. I was still iffy, but the post was so positive that I thought, hey - this probably human blogger would never lie to me! Not to say the soup was bad enough that I'm now questioning her species, just saying it was markedly odd enough that I'm suspicious said blogger might be less concerned with accuracy than appearances. Hey, A Spicy Perspective: 

Okay, let's focus on the positives for a while. This soup really is just a pile of everything that would go into guacamole, thrown in a crock pot. I came home at lunch to get it started, and it took all of five minutes. If you know me, that's not necessarily a positive on the enjoyment scale, but it definitely worked on the busy-day scale. 

Mmm, sludgeamole.
I doctored up the recipe I started with in a few ways. Before I pureed, I added in a big handful of cilantro and another one of spinach. I wanted the cilantro flavor (one of the best parts of gwock, IMHO), and the color of slow cooked avocado was turning less summer fresh than fresh diaper. 

Green it up a bit, and boom - no longer disturbing! I also blended sour cream with lime, lime zest, cilantro and a bit of salt that that to that satisfying swirl, as well as a delicious accompaniment for the brussels sprout/kale enchiladas I made (and a great dip for raw veggies at my desk the next day). For texture, I halved grape tomatoes and tossed them with cilantro, scallions, lime, honey and apple cider vinegar. Also pretty tasty. And guess what: So was the soup, once we sat at the table long enough for it to get cold. Good to dip chips in, tonally salsa-verde-ish, probably a decently satisfying enchilada sauce itself. But in the end, perhaps I should have stuck with Maya's recipe. 

Since I don't necessarily recommend trying this one out, I'm not going to include the recipe here. When Priya dropped me off after dinner, she called after me "the soup was good" in a way that meant "don't worry; the soup was technically edible and no one died." And that was plenty for us - the thing I remember from this night won't be failed-ish soup; it'll be girl-time with Priya, talking Ryan Adams for the millionth time with Dave, holding baby Leena and squishing her soft calves, and having black-bean-based counting lessons with Maya Grace. It's quality time with my Cincinnati family and I loved it. Plus, I got to steal a few extra bites of lemon bundt cake while Priya nibbled on some dessert-Leena.

And if you want some adorable continuity, check out Priya's dessert back in Soupruary 2014. 

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