I ate my first avocado in 1961, at Aunty Tizzi’s in South Yorkshire. It was a taste I loved, neither sweet nor savoury, just clean.
The oldest evidence of avocado predates my experience by around 12,000 years, in Mexico.
Roll forward till the mid 1930’s when a Californian postman cultivated the Has avocado, now the most widely acclaimed avocado.
I have grown to love the taste so much that I now wash what hair I have left in my head with the fruit, and buy avocado shower gels when I can find them.
I begin a series of recipes based on this giant of a fruit.
Chicken-and-Avocado Soup with Fried Tortillas is my first.
Active Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Here’s a silky soup that doesn’t rely on cream for its creamy texture; pureed avocados do the job nicely. It doesn’t rely on long cooking for its full flavor, either–the soup’s in the pot for less than ten minutes.
3 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
Four 6-inch corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno chile, seeds and ribs removed
2 ripe avocados, preferably Haas, skin and pit removed
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce, plus more to taste
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into approximately 1 1/2-by-1/4-by-1/4-inch strips
In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the tortillas and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the tortillas from the pot and drain on paper towels.
In a blender, combine the garlic, jalapeno, avocados, lime juice, Tabasco, 1 1/2 cups of the water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Puree until smooth.
Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in the pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and the remaining 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer. Stir the chicken into the pot; cook until just done, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the avocado puree. Heat through, about 2 minutes. Serve the soup topped with the crisp tortilla strips.
Even Easier: Use broken-up tortilla chips in place of the fried tortilla strips.