There are times when I don’t love living in Paris. For example: when it is July and it is pouring outside.
Europe is having an unusually cold and wet year, but now, in early summer, it seems it can’t make up its mind whether it wants to behave or not. Sometimes I wake up to rain pitter-pattering on my windows, sometimes to bright, hot sun burning my retinas because we forgot to pull the shades down the previous night. More often than not, I have to carry an umbrella in case of thunderstorms but end up sweating under my jacket, getting my face sunburnt at the Tuileries.
There are things I can do to help mitigate the strangeness of days that aren’t mid-70s and warm for weeks on end. One of them, as it turns out, is this soup. It’s like a California summer in a bowl. Creamy, tangy, sweet, and bright green.
Avocados aren’t hard to come by in Paris, but they’re not the creatures I know from back home. I usually find them hard as rocks, requiring at least a week on the counter to soften up, and they are never quite as sweet as I’m used to. But this weekend, at the Bastille market, I found these beauties: huge, velvety, and yielding to a gentle squeeze. They were calling my name.
The soup is served with another new world crop, corn. I could only find a few ears from Spain, pricey at €4 for two ears. Sigh. But worth it.
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes two servings.
2 large ripe avocados
1 cup vegetable broth, chilled
juice of 1 small lime
1 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups cold water
4 oz bacon, cut into lardons
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 ears fresh corn, cut from the cob
1/2 tsp chile pepper powder (or crushed red pepper)
1 tbsp good olive oil
small handful of fresh cilantro, cut into a chiffonade
salt and pepper to taste
For the soup: place all of the ingredients except for the water into a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender. Slowly add the water until the soup is at your desired consistency. Not too runny — it should still be thick enough to be slightly aerated, like very lightly whipped cream. You could also do this in a regular blender or a food processor.
Prepare the topping: render the bacon in a medium skillet over low heat until crispy. Remove and reserve the bacon and pour off most of the fat, leaving about 1 tbsp of the bacon fat in the pan. Add the onion, turn the heat up to medium, and cook until translucent and brown, about 5 minutes. (Note: I skipped this step and used a tablespoon of homemade caramelized onion jam instead.) Add the corn, the cooked bacon, and chile pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes, just until warmed through.
Split the soup into two bowls and spoon the warm topping over it. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cilantro.
Music to cook by: Down by the Water [The Drums // The Drums]