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Chilled Avocado Soup with Fresh Ginger & Lime Crema

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Avocado Soup

When I was in college I had a reputation (not THAT kind of reputation, silly).   I was known for my lipstick habit.  Because very, very rarely was I ever spotted around campus without a bright-pink pucker.

Well, one time on spring break in Daytona Beach, I forgot to put it on.  But I had mono and I was staying in a roach motel and I missed my mom and I was really, really unwell.  I know.  That’s no excuse.

But nevermind that.   I LOVED the day-glo pinks and fuschias of the 80’s.  So much so that a roommate of mine once said, “Ah’ sway-uh, Leah, do yew keep yo-wah lipstick on yo-wah naht-stay-und?”

I went to college in South Carolina.  Did you catch the accent?

Yes, I did keep a wide array of silvery tubes on my naht-stay-und.  And yes, I sometimes DID apply a coat or two before I even brushed my teeth in the morning.

After college I maintained my lipstick rep’, even as I high-tailed it back up to Yankee land.  A post college friend once picked me up for a night at the movies – as I recall, we had both worked all day and were kickin back in our glasses and sweats – but my lips were still glossed over in one of my shocking shades, causing my friend to laugh hysterically and coin the term “Puerto Rican Lipstick” (and I know she meant that as a compliment to Puerto Ricans everywhere).

The reason I brought up this ridiculous topic in the first place is that this afternoon I bought myself a gorgeous placemat at the Mequon store.  It was on the summer sale rack.  Three bucks it cost me.  It’s the most amazing, beautiful, shocking shade of fuschia I’ve ever seen (and it reverses to orange…bliss!!).  It reminded me of my Puerto Rican lipstick days.

Would you believe, it’s the same placemat in this photo?  I know!!  It’s sad, but the lighting tonight is terrible and the soup doesn’t look nearly as bright as it really is, and the pretty placemat looks …. RED!  I assure you, it’s not!  It’s almost identical to the Violet Kiss I wore in 1989.

Bah.

Anyway, you came here for a recipe, not the sad and strange history of my love affair with the Clinique counter.

So.  I think this soup is terrific, but I’m not sure it’s the type of thing you’re going to serve for a family dinner with the kiddos (well maybe it is, who am I to say?).  I would recommend it for a first course at a late-summer dinner party or ladies lunch.  It’s a little rich, but when avocados go on sale, I say we make the most of them and eat ‘em up!

And I just had a thought:  this would also be perfect served as a shooter in a shot glass, with a grilled shrimp hanging on the rim!  And jumbo shrimp skewers are on sale this week…gorgeous!

Someone be a peach and try that this weekend.  Kindly report your success back to us here…lipstick optional.

CHILLED AVOCADO SOUP WITH FRESH GINGER & LIME CREMA
SERVES:  4
SOURCE:  foodnetwork.com, recipe by Emeril Lagasse

¼ c. butter
1 c. finely chopped onion
2 ½ t. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and mashed (on sale)
4 t. fresh lime juice ( limes are on sale)
1 ½ c. chicken broth
½ t. black pepper
1 scallion, finely chopped (on sale)
½ c. half and half
Salt and pepper

Lime Crema
¼ c. sour cream (Daisy brand is on sale)
2 t. fresh lime juice
¼ t. minced garlic
¼ t. salt

Melt butter in a saucepan and cook the onions for about 4 minutes, until softened.  Add the ginger and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add the avocado, lime juice, and chicken broth and whisk to combine.  Simmer soup over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the scallion and transfer soup to a blender and puree (VERY CAREFULLY!!), in batches if necessary, until very smooth.  Stir in the half-and-half and salt and pepper to taste.  Chill thoroughly before serving.

To make the Lime Crema, stir together the sour cream, lime juice, garlic, and salt.  When the soup has chilled, garnish each portion with a generous dollop of crema.

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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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