Serves:4 to 6 |
Prep Time:20 minutes + 1 hour chilling time |
Cook Time:15 minutes
Cool and creamy/crunchy and spicy — this recipe is all about contrasts. Make it as a light lunch or for dinner served with Baja shrimp tacos and frosty Margaritas and a big smile on your face.
1/2 loaf (8 ounces) crusty bread
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons ground chile (see note)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
freshly ground pepper
Juice of 2 limes
1-1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped, or
2 tablespoons canned diced green chiles
2 green onions, sliced
2 large ripe avocados
To make croutons, preheat your oven to 450°F. Cut the bread into small cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Bake until just golden, about 10 minutes. Melt butter and stir in chile powder, salt, cumin, and pepper to taste. Pour over bread cubes and toss to coat. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes more. Let cool, then store in an airtight container up to 2 days.
To make gazpacho base, peel and dice one of the cucumbers. Put it in a blender with the lime juice, broth, cilantro, chile, green onions, and a pinch of salt. Dice one of the avocadoes and add it to the blender, then puree. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 day.
To serve, finely dice the other cucumber and avocado and stir them into the gazpacho base. Divide soup among bowls and sprinkle each with spicy croutons.
note: look for ground dried chile, such as ancho or New Mexico, as opposed to a chili powder, which is a spice mix. If that’s too much hassle, just go with chili powder or even paprika.