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Slap-in-the-Face Avocado-Tomatillo Soup

Nothing subtle about this one, but what an appetite stimulant! Sharp, clean, smooth--it's a real slap in the face of your dinner guests to prepare their palates for the coming meal. Serve cold to 6 people as a first course.

  • 3 poblano chiles, skinned, seeded, and diced
  • 3 fully ripe avocados, preferably Hass, cut in chunks (reserving 1/2 of one avocado for the garnish)
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, cored, and quartered
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: reserved 1/2 avocado, in a fine dice

The easiest way to skin the chiles is to broil them close to the heating element, turning with tongs, til they're charred all over--then sticking them in a plastic bag for a couple minutes. When they're skinned, cut off the tops and scrape away all the seeds. Then chop finely.

Puree the chiles, avocados, and tomatillos in a blender, adding the water as needed to make into a smooth paste. Then add the remaining water, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the reserved avocado chunks.