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Avocado bisque with apple chutney

A bisque is a French-style soup traditionally made from crustaceans such as lobster, crab, shrimp, and crayfish. The shells are used to make stock, and the meat is incorporated into the finished dish.

The main characteristic of a bisque is its smooth, velvety texture. Most recipes include wine and cream to give it its signature flavour and texture. But it's not merely the choice of ingredients that makes bisque different from other types of soups. It’s also the technique for utilizing that ingredient, including the parts you can't eat, that makes a bisque what it is.

The name of a food is very much attached to its history, and according to Taste Atlas, there are two prevailing theories of how bisque got its name. The first theory is phonetic in nature, referring to the French "bis cuits", meaning a soup that is cooked twice; the second theory postulates a relation of bisque to the Bay of Biscay, owing to the use of the stew's spicer ingredients being found in the area.

This is a decadent, silky-smooth vegetarian bisque made with avocado, cream, and coconut milk. The ingredients come together beautifully in a rich, smooth soup. The chutney makes the soup come alive. The sweetness and spice bring the avocado forward. This is a cold soup perfect for these hot summer days.

New Vegetarian Classics: Soups is a lovely cookbook that taught me that gourmet soups are delicious. These recipes step out of the ordinary and are loaded with flavours from around the world. I have this old cookbook on my shelf, and I have cooked through most of the recipes at some point, each one a keeper.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


Ingredients:

For the apple chutney:

1 large Granny Smith apple, cut, cored and cut into small dice

1/2 cup small diced onions

1/2 cup water

1 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

5 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 cup golden raisins

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

3 tablespoons cilantro, minced


For the bisque:

2 tablespoons ghee or butter

1/2 cup diced onions

2 stems celery, diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 teaspoon mild Madras curry powder

3 cups water or vegetable broth

1 cup coconut milk


3 avocados, peeled and chunked

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons mint

Salt, to taste

1 teaspoon pepper

Water, as needed


To make the chutney: Add the apples, onions, water, garlic, ginger, and orange juice and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.


Add the raisins, salt, and chilli flakes and continue to simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes. Cool and taste the chutney. The apples should be soft, and the chutney bold. Store in the fridge for 2-4 days.


To make the soup: Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 4-5 minutes on very low heat so the vegetables get soft. Do not let the onions colour.


Add the Madras curry powder and cook for 1 minute, tossing the vegetables to coat them with the spices. Add the water/stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 25 minutes. Cool completely.


The recipe calls for straining the stock and tossing the vegetables. However, as I am a no-waste cook, I add the stock and vegetables to a blender with the avocado, lime juice, mint, salt, and pepper. Blitz until you have a very smooth purée with the consistency of thick cream. Taste for salt and spices; the soup should be elegant and luxurious on your palate. Chill for 6 hours at a minimum.


To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and top with the mango chutney. Serve chilled with extra chutney at the table.

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