The weather may still be calling for comfort food, but I’m ready for spring! I’ve been making this soup around Easter and through the summer for a while now…it can be served hot or cold, by itself as lunch or a snack, and it’s a perfect accompaniment to grilled vegetables or fish. Best of all, it only requires a few (very standard) ingredients, and it’s incredibly simple to make. (Slightly adapted from Williams Sonoma: the Best of Taste.)
Total Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and cut into very thin slices
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups vegetable stock
3 very ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
1 large English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped into ¼ inch slices
2 lemons (¼ cup lemon juice)
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
salt or freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the pickled onions: combine the onions, vinegar, sugar and salt; I prefer to use a small glass container with a lid. Stir thoroughly or cap the container and shake until well-combined. Set aside while preparing soup.
Fill the bottom of a sturdy pot or dutch oven with about ½ inch of the stock. Bring heat to medium- when stock is simmering, add the chopped shallots. When shallots are slightly translucent, about 3 minutes, add cucumber and remaining stock. Simmer the cucumbers until tender, about 15 minutes.
Add the avocados to the pot and stir to combine. If you have an immersion blender, this is the perfect time to use it! Otherwise, blend the soup in a traditional blender in two or three batches. Return the soup to the pot and reduce heat to low. Stir in the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with pickled onions.
*Note: The key to getting a great flavor in this soup is really ripe avocados (about the same consistency you would want for guacamole), and plenty of fresh lemon juice. I like to add the juice slowly (in two or three parts) and slowly add a little salt, adjusting the seasoning until it’s perfect. The proportions in the recipe work fine, but I find that my taste can vary from one batch to the next depending on the taste of the avocados, etc.