Avocado Tomatillo Soup

Avocado Tomatillo Soup

This is hearty yet elegant, with a velvety texture and unusual smoky flavor. The tang of tomatillos is beautifully balanced by the richness of avocado.

1 to 2 fresh green chiles
1 quart fresh tomatillos (about 1-1/2 pounds), husked and rinsed
2 ripe Hass avocados*
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

* A ripe avocado is somewhat fragrant and yields slightly to thumb pressure. When perfectly ripe, the soft flesh can be easily separated from the peel. Dark, discolored spots are a sign of bruising and/or overripeness.

Preheat the broiler.

Place the chiles and the tomatillos (stem side down) on an unoiled, nonreactive, heatproof baking pan and broil near the heat source for about 10 minutes. Turn them over with tongs and broil for 5 minutes more. The tomatillos will intensify in color and may scorch slightly-when removed from the broiler, they should collapse or wilt.

Meanwhile, slice each avocado lengthwise around its center, gently twist the halves apart, and remove the pit. Scoop the avocado flesh into a large bowl. Sprinkle on the lime juice and toss to coat well.

Remove the baking pan from the broiler and set aside the chiles for the moment. Transfer the tomatillos and all of their juices to a separate bowl to cool. Return the chiles to the baking pan, broil for 5 minutes longer, and then set aside.

When cool, add the tomatillo juices to the avocados. Turn each tomatillo inside out through its stem scar and use a spoon to scrape the flesh into the bowl of avocados. Discard the skins. Remove and discard the stems and any tough seeds from the chiles (see Note). Add the stemmed chiles, scallions, cilantro, water, salt, and pepper to the bowl.

In a blender, purée everything in batches until very smooth and thick. If needed, stop the blender once or twice to scrape down the sides. Add up to 1 cup of water if you prefer the soup less thick.

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note: If desired, remove all of the chile seeds for a milder hot.

From: Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special: More Than 275 Recipes for Soups, Stews, Salads and Extras by Moosewood Collective
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