Saturday, January 18, 2014
MEXICAN-FRENCH-CALIFORNIAN FUSION : SPINACH-AVOCADO BISQUE
Here is something terrifically delicious and so easy to mess up unless you have a good recipe...here is a good one.
This began in Henley on Thames, In England.
While I was working at my 3rd "Downton Abbey" type country house, for Lord & Lady Edwin McAlpine ( they used to own The Dorchester Hotel, in London).
That creation was mainly just an avocado blended French type bisque..this, having lived and traveled in Mexico & now USA, is an updated fusion of those cuisines..enjoy.
2 bunches field spinach (not the baby salad stuff which has no flavor)
1 cup minced onion
6 cloves garlic smashed and minced
2 cups chicken broth ( if using stock use double then heat to reduce to 2 cups)
2 large RIPE avocado's ( or 3 medium)..buy them unripe and they will ripen in 3-4 days if set out in a fruit bowl or a brown paper bag do not buy them already ripened as they might have been bruised and will be discolored.
1 cup single/pouring (sweet) cream ( do not use sour cream as it is too thick & tart)
salt & white pepper to taste
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup minced cilantro
2 scallions minced ( use white and green)
1 large RIPE avocado ....cubed & soaked in juice of 1 lime
Lime wedges to be handed round
Remove the roots from the spinach and then plunge the spinach leaves and stems into a fresh cold water filled sink, and wash well by pushing up and down with hands to loosen any soil and sand..do this several times re-filling the sink.
When water is clear of debris, remove and allow to drain in a colander over a large bowl.
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan..melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic for 3 mins without coloring.
Add the hot chicken broth and spinach leaves and stems & simmer for 30 mins.
Remove any scum.
Check for seasonings,* then remove from heat.
Add the avocado flesh reserving 4 tbsp, chopped. (set this reserve aside, sprinkled with some lime juice)
Remove from heat and blend with the cold cream, then return to a clean saucepan and bring to a low simmer, as soon as it begins to simmer remove from heat.
NEVER BOIL AVOCADO AS IT BECOMES BITTER!
Add the reserved chopped raw avocado.
Serve in bowls and garnish with the tomato, cilantro, scallions, chopped avocado and place a bowl of lime wedges for folks to help themselves.
* be mindful when adding salt that lime or lemon juice adds a salty flavor to dishes, and this soup comes with lime wedges ( to cut the richness of the soup)
This soup may also be served with tortilla chips for more of a meal feel.