Avocado Zucchini Summer Soup from the AICR Test Kitchen

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As one of the foremost cancer research institutes in the nation, the American Institute for Cancer Research leads the way in making evidence-based recommendations that promote lifestyle choices among the public that can prevent the development of some cancers. To this end, every other week their test kitchen offers a new and delicious recipe.

This week: Avocado Zucchini Summer Soup.

Move over gazpacho, there’s another refreshing cold summer soup made with zucchini and avocado. Just as gazpacho makes delightful use of summer’s bounty of tomatoes, this soup showcases zucchini and avocado, also abundant during the summer.

Zucchini has soft skin and edible seeds. Usually dark or pale green, zucchini has a delicate, almost sweet earthy flavor, but overripe zucchini can have a more bitter taste. Newer varieties include golden – they have a slightly milder flavor than the green type. Look for fairly small zucchini that are firm and heavy for their size. Do not wash them until ready to use. Peeling is not necessary.

Puréed avocado provides a silky texture and a refreshingly rich yet mild flavor in this summer soup. Botanically, avocados are a fruit that is high in heart healthy monounsaturated fat. The two main types of avocado are usually referred to as California and Florida avocados. The California avocados, such as the Hass variety called for in this recipe, are the ones with the dark, pebbly skins; they have a more creamy consistency because of their higher fat content. The Florida avocados have smooth green rinds and are larger than the California variety. These avocados have more water and less fat, making them lower in calories per serving. Though either type may be used, the higher fat California Hass is perfect in this soup for its creamy quality.

The secret to any soup is its base, which in this recipe comes from green onions, cilantro, lime juice and vegetable broth. Almond milk rounds out the soup’s silkiness and ties together the infusion of flavors.

An easily and quickly made cucumber salsa topping adds the perfect contrasting crunch to this creamy soup. So when you desire a cold soup this summer, grab some zucchini and an avocado and whip them together. Avocado Zucchini Summer Soup will keep you energized and light on your feet on hot summer days.

Avocado Zucchini Summer Soup

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 cups chopped zucchini (about 2-3 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion, divided
  • 1 medium Hass avocado
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cumin, optional
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

Cucumber Salsa

  • 1 cup peeled, seeded, diced cucumber (about 1 medium cucumber)
  • 1½ Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, divided
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

In large saucepan over high heat, combine broth, zucchini and ¼ cup onion. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce heat and let simmer 6 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

In small bowl combine cucumber, remaining onion, cilantro and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season with salt to taste. Toss well, cover and refrigerate.

In blender, combine zucchini mix, avocado, cumin, if using, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and almond milk. Cover and purée until smooth. Leaving soup in blender container, refrigerate it for 2 hours.

When ready to serve, re-blend soup. Add additional almond milk for thinner consistency, if desired.

Pour into serving bowls. Top with salsa and serve.

Makes 4 (1 cup) servings.

Per serving: 108 calories, 7.5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 10 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 285 mg sodium.

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