This is a soup of many friends.
First, there is Muriel. I tasted this soup at a party she threw for her husband, a wonderful artist who was showing some detailed geometric ink drawings. The soup tasted the way I imagine a cloud tastes: cool, soft, round and full in the mouth. She assured me, in the way only a French woman can, that it was nothing special, easy to put together. The texture was so amazing that I wondered if she had lightened it with whipped cream. When I had the soup the second time, at her 40th birthday party, I asked again, and this time she sent over the recipe she uses. It seems too good to be true, but, in fact, it's quite easy.
Next friends: Rachel and Eric, who own an avocado ranch near Santa Barbara. We visited last weekend and came home with a big bag of heavy Fuertes, a variety that's harder to find than the common Hass, but worth the hunt for its creamy yellow flesh. Tired of guacamole, I thought of this soup.
And finally, Lauren, a beautiful photographer, who kept me company in the kitchen last weekend and took the photo above as her toddler Isabella rearranged the furniture. Lauren likes to cook but is more timid in the kitchen than her skills warrant. I often end up doing the cooking instead of teaching her, but it's such a pleasure cooking for her, and she is such a grateful and effusive guest, that I can't help myself. After she shot the picture above, she ate the soup and enjoyed it. Which is all the cook really wants.
Creamy avocado-cucumber soup (makes about 8 servings)
- Flesh of 4 large avocados (if you happen to find Fuertes, use them; if not, Hass are fine)
- 2 English cucumbers, with skin, cut into chunks
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt to taste
Anyway, whizz the mixture up for a good long time. Open the blender. If it's too thick to qualify as soup, add some water and whizz again. Chill in the refrigerator at least a couple of hours before serving. Garnish with chopped herbs, a perfect sprig of parsley (as in the photo), or some diced cucumber and/or avocado.