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Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Soup with Cilantro-Chili Cream

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados (use large or 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the cream topping:

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant, then ground
  • 1 fresh jalapeno or Serrano (if you like more heat) chili, seeded and
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems), washed well and dried
  • salt and pepper to taste

Set aside a piece of cucumber that will make about 1/2 cup chopped, and one half avocado. Coarsely dice the rest Combine with remaining soup ingredients, and blend. Taste for seasonings, adjusting salt and lemon as needed. Remove from the blender and chill thoroughly.

To make cream, combine all ingredients in the blender and purée. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill.

Just before serving, finely and neatly chop the reserved cucumber and avocado to use as garnish. Season lightly.

To serve, place soup in chilled bowls, top with a spoonful of cream and a sprinkling of diced cucumber and avocado.

Note: Soup and cream may be made a few hours ahead and chilled.