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Chilled Avocado And Tabbouleh Soup recipe from The Natural Vitality Chef

This recipe started off as a soupy version of guacamole, garnished with a spicy salsa, but somehow it migrated from Mexico to the Middle East. The creamy richness of the avocado is a perfect background for the bright, herby tabbouleh topping and the heat can be adjusted according to taste – but beware of making it so spicy that you lose the fruitiness of the orange.

This soup is best eaten within a few hours of being made, as its freshness diminishes over time. Serves 2 as a lunch dish For the soup:- 2 ripe avocadoes 1 garlic clove, peeled 2 spring onions/green onions/scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped 1 hottish green chilli, halved and deseeded 2.5 ml/1/2 tsp harissa, or to taste (or you could use chilli powder) 10 g/1/3 oz fresh coriander/cilantro, very coarsely chopped 5 ml/1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder 5 ml/1 tsp fresh lime juice, or to taste 100 ml/1/3 cup fresh orange juice, about 1 large orange Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper For the tabbouleh:- 50 g/2 oz whole wheat bulghur/cracked wheat 2.5 ml/1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder 100 ml/1/3 cup water 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered and then cut into 8 pieces 1 orange, peeled, segmented and diced 8 pitted black olives, quartered 15 ml/1 tbsp olive oil 10 g/1/3 oz fresh mint, leaves only, chopped medium fine Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper The day before you are intending to make the soup, place all the avocadoes and the orange in the refrigerator. But if you forget to do so, don’t worry, just use very cold water and chill the soup for 30 minutes before serving. Start off by placing the bulghur in a small bowl, sprinkle over the bouillon and stir in the water. Set aside to rehydrate, about 30 minutes. Gently fold in the remaining ingredients except for the salt. For the soup, blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, adding just enough iced water to achieve a single/light cream consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a jug and chill. Stir some salt into the tabbouleh. Place a small pastry ring in the middle of two cold soup plates and spoon in some tabbouleh, gently pressing down and smoothing the top. Carefully remove the pastry ring before pouring the soup around the tabbouleh. Alternatively, just pour the soup into two plates and spoon some tabbouleh into the centre – the presentation will not be as precise but who cares! Serve immediately with any remaining tabbouleh on the side. And what about this recipe's nutritional talents? Avocadoes are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids which benefit the skin, fibre, vitamins (A, the Bs, C, E and K), minerals such as copper and potassium, and antioxidant carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). Garlic is rich in allicin, a sulphur compound essential to the detoxification of heavy metals in the body; it can also boost the immune system, may help to reduce blood pressure and LDL/"bad" cholesterol, and is rich in antioxidants, Vitamins B6 and C as well as the minerals manganese and selenium. Onions provide Vitamins B6 and C along with antioxidant compounds like sulphur and quercetin while chillies are a good source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as potassium and copper and carotenoid antioxidants; and their capsaicin content gives them pain killing properties. Tomatoes are packed with Vitamins A, C and K, as well as lycopene and the minerals potassium and iron. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, and full of monounsaturated fat and coriander is valuable for removing heavy metals from the body and aiding digestion. Mint has anti-bacterial properties and may be helpful for colds due to its decongesting menthol content, for indigestion, for travel sickness and as a breath freshener. And as for oranges and limes, they are packed with Vitamin C and potassium, antioxidant bioflavonoids, have anti-cancer and heart health properties and may even boost brain function. So all in all, this soup is a nutritional powerhouse! Check out my guacamole recipe.

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