I’m not into gazpacho–cold soup weirds me out. However, Anthony Bourdain said in his book Kitchen Confidential that he could pinpoint the moment he fell in love with food. He was on vacation with his family in France and tasted vichyssoise, which is traditionally served cold, and his whole world opened up. Cold soup? he thought. If that rule could be broken, what else could happen in the world of food? For me it was pear tortelinni in Florence. The sweet-salty-pasta combination is something I still think about.
Summer soup aren’t words you usually hear, or want to hear, together. However when you add incredibly beautiful, ripe avocados, fresh tomatoes, and fresh cilantro to chicken stock, and serve it hot, the result is soup. It’s a fresh, summery soup. If that’s even possible. (It is).
It’s very simple, really, which is my numero uno rule for Summer meals.
Start with chopped onions and olive oil.
Add the onions to the olive oil and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, until translucent. Add minced garlic and quartered grape tomatoes.
Let that cook for a minute more, then add 1 small can of diced green chilies. Do the hokey pokey and stir it all around.
Chop up a bundle of fresh cilantro and add it to the mix. Let that cook for a couple of minutes, then add 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of water.
Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. In the meantime, procure some chicken.
I baked four chicken breasts, two of which I used, with my favorite way to bake chicken. I took two of them and instead of shredding them, I diced them up fairly fine. You could obviously use rotisserie chicken, or leftover roast chicken, or any other mode of chicken you like.
Add the diced chicken to the soup and simmer for 5 more minutes.
To serve, cube an avocado and add to a bowl.
Ladle the hot soup over the fresh avocado, making sure to get plenty of chicken and other goodness. Serve with a cold beer, because it’s summer, and also with some tortilla chips, because that makes sense.
So, yes, it’s Summer. I feel like that’s all I’ve been talking about lately. However, I love soup and I’ve been missing it! This is the perfect fix for a Summer craving. It’s fresh, zippy, and light.
The fresh herbs and fresh tomatoes make this soup completely appropriate for the season, and while K chose to eat tacos in a more traditional sense, that was mainly because he has an aversion to most soups and not because this wasn’t good.
Best part is, it makes leftovers, which are only better the next day. I’m asking a lot to get you to make soup in July (AUGUST!) but I think you’ll like it. I hope you will!
Here’s the recipe.
Chicken and Avocado Soup
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small can of diced green chilies
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 1 avocado per serving, cubed
- lime wedges, for serving
- hot sauce, for serving
- In a large pot, add olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add tomatoes and garlic and cook for one minute more. Add green chilies, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and fresh cilantro. Stir to combine.
- Add chicken stock and water and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for at least 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add diced chicken and cook for 5 minutes more.
- To serve, add cubed avocado to a bowl. Ladle chicken soup over the avocado. Garnish with lime wedges and some hot sauce. Some tortilla chips wouldn’t hurt, nor would some cheese. Just saying.