Contributed and photographed by Katy Morris
While I always enjoyed integrating avocado into dishes at home in the U. S. (one of my faves is the Granola Bar’s Devilled Avocado Eggs!), there’s something pretty cool about knowing they grow directly on the trees where I am working and living right now. And as great as farmers’ markets are back home, you won’t see these avocados among the locally grown produce. But you can surely get them at your local grocery– and I have seen firsthand where they come from.**
There are many varieties of avocados (Mexican, West Indian, California, and numerous hybrids between), but the ones I’m hooked on are the popular Guatemalan natives, the Hass.
They are oval shaped and have thicker, rougher skin than other varieties, which enables them to travel well and still boast great quality once they arrive at their destination. You’ll also see that Hass avocados turn black (and almost a bit purplish) when ripening, while other varieties get greener as they mature.
It is interesting to note that Hass avocados often remain on the tree for several months after maturing; so in essence, the trees “store” them. Lucky for the locals (and you) this is why the harvesting time period is so long in Guatemala and we can essentially get them year-round in the U. S. Love learning these tree-to-table facts!
While the traditional Guatemalan cuisine of tamales, tortillas, and beans is no doubt delicious (and I sure had my fill in the first couple months), as a vegetarian KLM eater, I am always hungry for some more variety. Happily, I can always find an abundance of fresh, locally grown produce at the open-air market, and even though I only have a little blender and portable gas stove top to work with, I’ve started to get creative with my meals.
Here’s a healthy recipe that incorporates the super nutritious aguacate into one of those chilled soups we crave as the temperatures rise.
It’s the perfect soup du jour for a refreshing, summertime lunch whenever the temps are sizzling. The super smooth, creamy texture of the avocado negates the need for any added fat. Toss in some garlic scapes or shallots for some added flavor if you like!
As we say in Guatemala (both before AND after a meal), Buen Provecho!
**Kosher Like Me contributor and vegetarian enthusiast, Katy Morris, recently moved to Panajachel, Guatemala where she is working as the Communications Director for a non-profit organization called Mayan Families.
The first time she ventured to the local mercado she was taken by the brilliantly vibrant colors everywhere she looked. Heaping mounds of freshly picked fruits and veggies matched the vibrancy of colorfully clad Señores and Señoras. Her first edible purchase? She went straight for those famous, locally grown Guatemalan avocados.
Aguacates (avocado in Spanish) are indeed locally grown. In fact, Katy is waiting patiently to pluck them from trees in her own yard.
This super easy chilled soup is a naturally rich and satisfying summer dish.
This recipe is kosher and dairy. To convert to vegan and pareve, use plain soy yogurt.
- 1 large cucumber, peeled
- 2 medium sized Hass avocados
- 2 large limes, juiced
- ¼ cup mint leaves, finely chopped (save some for garnish)
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ cup cold water
- cumin or paprika for garnish
- 1 radish, chopped
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree the mixture until smooth.
- Chop the radish and throw in the soup for some added crunch.
- Serve chilled and garnish with spices.