Chilled Avocado Soup (Vegan)

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It’s a little warm and muggy today in São João do Estoril, Portugal, though I am not complaining. It appears from the news that much of the northern hemisphere is experiencing a heat wave right now, which makes it an ideal time for a super-easy-to-prepare chilled soup, especially one that requires exactly zero time on the stove. [Well, unless your bride asks you to make homemade croutons for it.]

A note about stock and salt: I use a Spanish commercial vegetable stock by Aneto that already has a little salt in it, so I let diners add some finishing salt if they wish. American cooks using commercial vegetable stocks will likely find them to be sodium bombs, so I would advise y’all to take it easy on the salt. Better Than Bouillon makes an excellent vegetarian stock base, but it’s not readily available here in Europe. Making your own vegetable stock so you can control the salt content is an option, but you certainly don’t want to do it on a hot day. At least I don’t.

INGREDIENTS

1 liter / 4 cups vegetable stock
125ml / ½ cup fresh lemon juice (lime juice can be substituted)
30g / ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 ripe avocados (minus skin and seeds)
3 green onions (scallions), chopped
4 cloves garlic (but I’m a garlic fiend, so you may want less)
1.25g / ½ teaspoon pimentón de la Vera
Optional toppings: croutons, parsley, diced tomato or bell pepper, toasted almonds, piri-piri sauce or Tabasco, cilantro

DIRECTIONS
Put all the ingredients into a blender. Blend on medium until desired texture is reached. Transfer to pitcher and chill (both you and the soup) for at least 1 hour to allow flavours to meld. Garnish as the spirit moves. Serve.