Friday, January 5, 2018

Creamy Avocado and Chicken Soup

This is the soup that taught my kids to love avocados.  At least when warm.  They love avocado in soup, maybe not cold and cubed yet.  I remember not being able to eat sliced avocado as a kid, and I did give it a good try.  It was a textural thing.  So glad I grew out of that, I love them now.  And this simple soup is a great way to use up avocados that are pushing the limits of ripeness.  Plus you can whip it up fairly quick with rotisserie or leftover chicken.  The oven fried tortilla strips are not to be missed either, so tasty!  I use our locally available spelt tortillas and they are delicious, but any brand will work.  This is one of a number of recipes that come from a Soup magazine that I loved so much I ordered another copy in desperation after losing it somewhere in the house.  Now I happily have two copies.  I have already shared my version of a chili from it, as well as a delicious Thai chicken soup, another of our favorites.
We love the smokiness of the cumin paired with the creamy avocado in this soup.  And I love that it uses an in-pan roux method instead of having you make a separate béchamel.  It's the method I always use for soups if I can make it work.  Why dirty two pans if you don't have to?  At any rate, we highly recommend this easy, weeknight soup for your dinner roster!

Creamy Avocado Chicken Soup
serves 4

2 ripe avocados, seeded, peel, and diced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp butter
¾ cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper (1 medium)
2 tbsp flour
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth (or 1 can)
2 cups shredded, roasted chicken
1 recipe Spicy Tortilla Strips

In a bowl, mash the avocados and lime juice until smooth and creamy, using a fork or potato masher.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add bell pepper and cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour, cumin, garlic, and salt.  Slowly stir in the milk and broth.  Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbling.  Then cook for another minute.  Stir in the reserved avocado mixture and the chicken.  Heat through and serve, topping each portion with Spicy Tortilla strips.

Spicy Tortilla Strips:

2 small flour or 6" corn tortillas
chili powder

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Cut the tortillas into narrow strips, ½-¾" wide.  Place in a gallon ziploc bag.  Drizzle with a little olive or sunflower oil, season to taste with a bit of salt and a light sprinkle of chili powder.  Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 7-10 minutes or until crisp.  Flour tortillas will be done sooner than corn tortillas.  Serve over soup.

(You can alternately coat the strips with cooking spray and season them on the baking sheet.  I just prefer the bag method for even coverage.)

Approximate nutrition for a full bowl of soup with flour tortilla strips:

(We usually have one bowl left over for our family of four, so the amount eaten for us is typically less than what is calculated for a full ¼ recipe.)


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