Chilly with a chance of avocado

Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup

This time of year you hear a lot about gazpacho. Tomatoes aren’t in the heart of their season but have started to make their way into the markets, and the hot days of late June into July (although maybe not so much this year) beg for something refreshing. For the same reasons we love a big bowl of hot soup in the winter, chilled soups are there to balance out the elements. More and more, varieties other than gazpacho have become ever present. Yet despite all the interesting flavor combinations and the appeal of refreshment, I have never really enjoyed the chilled soup.

Maybe it was a matter of expectation. Looking down at the vibrant bowl of soup my brain is preparing for the warmth. “Don’t eat it too soon, otherwise you’ll burn your tongue, and then you won’t enjoy a thing”. Or maybe it is the fact that foods have the tendency to have a variation in taste level with different temperatures. Often subtle flavors become more apparent when cooled down and the seasoning and balancing can be thrown off. Or maybe I’ve just been a big baby…

Last night I decided to play around with a chilled soup I had seen a while back online. Utilizing the basic flavors of the version I was remembering I wanted to play around with the problem of expectation. Two of the main ingredients are rarely served hot. This would hopefully avoid the mental component of enjoying this dish. And what if the soup acted like a compliment rather than being the main component. This should hopefully avoid the temperature and flavor issue. Sure enough, problem solved.

This chilled avocado and cucumber soup with fennel and peppercorn glazed shrimp really hit the spot. Light, refreshing, and not at all disappointing…


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