Ultra-Fast Avocado Soup

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 10 minutes, plus time to chill

This lovely, celadon-colored soup is about as simple as it gets; the subtle, rich flavors of avocado and milk benefit from a hit of acidity, so I add orange or lime juice at the end, but that’s about it. You can, however, dress it up for company in a hurry: A couple of brightly colored cherry tomatoes tossed with oil, salt, and pepper and nestled in the middle of the soup are handsome additions. Even a few cilantro leaves arranged in the middle of the bowl would take this soup from everyday to elegant.

3 or 4 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped (about 2 cups)

3 cups milk, preferably whole milk

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange or lime juice, or to taste (optional)

01 Put the chopped avocado in a blender. Add half the milk, a large pinch of salt, and a small pinch of cayenne, and process to a pure. Beat in the remaining milk, then chill for up to 6 hours if you have time (press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface of the soup so it doesn’t discolor).

02 Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, add the citrus juice if you’re using it, and serve in chilled bowls if you want to be precise.

Variation

Chestnut Soup. More work, especially if you start with fresh chestnuts, but still quite straightforward: Frozen chestnuts (see Sources) are the easiest way to go here. Substitute 11/2 pounds fresh chestnuts, peeled (see Boiled, Grilled, or Roasted Chestnuts), or 2 cups thawed frozen or reconstituted dried chestnuts, drained and rinsed, for the avocados. Boil the chestnuts in water or stock for up to about 30 minutes, or until tender, and drain. Proceed with the recipe.