Saturday, September 30, 2017

Chilled Avocado, Turmeric, and Almond Soup

I’m always eager to read about cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients for healthy eating, and I want to tell you about another book that offers just that. It’s Real Food by Mike: Seasonal Wholefood Recipes for Wellbeing, and I received a review copy. Mike McEnearney operates two Sydney restaurants serving whole food cooking and believes that food is “natures’s medicine.” In this new book, each recipe comes with a note about the ingredients, their nutritional value, and how they support good health. I like those reminders about the benefits that come with eating what’s fresh from the farms each season. The recipes are organized by season and move from summer to spring. You’ll find everything from mains and sides to dessert and breakfast dishes and even preserves and drinks. There’s a Malaysian Spiced Pumpkin and Coconut Soup that sounds great for this transitional time of early fall. I also have my eye on the Mango, Avocado Lime, and Lentil Salad. The Roast Pumpkin with Chai Spice and Buttermilk is intriguing in that the pumpkin wedges are left with the skin on the outside and attached seeds on the inside to protect the flesh for a longer cooking time. The wedges take on great color from longer roasting and get topped with the buttermilk-chai dressing. The Baked Whole Cauliflower with Indian Spices, Mint, and Yogurt looks festive for a dinner party. And, the Pineapple Tarts are adorable minis made with one round slice of pineapple per tart. The first recipe I tried is a chilled avocado soup, but I actually thought of it more as a smoothie. It makes a great, quick, nutritious breakfast on the go. 

In the book, the soup is made with cashew milk, but there’s a note that any nut milk will work. I’ve recently become a fan of a locally-made almond milk called Malk that’s made simply with organic almonds, water, and a little salt and nothing else like other similar products with added stabilizers, thickeners, and flavorings. So, I went with almond milk. Making the soup was a quick puree in the blender of two avocados, almond milk, some salt, lemon juice, ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, and a little olive oil. You’ll want to taste and adjust to your preference. I added a little extra lemon juice. Then, the mixture gets chilled until you’re ready to serve it. And, no worries about the avocado turning a darker color. Once blended with the other ingredients, it maintains its pretty shade of green. 

The nutrition notes for this recipe let you know that avocado is good for lowering bad cholesterol and boosting good cholesterol, and turmeric in addition to being anti-inflammatory also has one of the highest levels of antioxidant strength of all herbs and spices. Knowing that made it even more enjoyable. And, all the other recipes in the book come with similar good news about the ingredients used.  

Chilled Avocado, Turmeric, and Cashew Nut Soup
Recipe excerpted with permission from Real Food by Mike by Mike McEnearney, published by Hardie Grant Books August 2017, RRP $29.99 paperback. 

This refreshing soup works well for breakfast to kick start your day, or as a light lunch. There are a number of varieties of avocados available in spring and they get better towards the end of the season. There is no right type to use for this soup, as they are all as good as each other. The only prerequisite is that the avocados must be ripe with a sweet flavour. Pumpkin seed oil can be found in most health food or good food stores. If you can’t find it, try edible argan oil or a simple drizzle of very good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. This recipe will also work well with any kind of nut milk, or you can use full-cream (whole) milk. 


2 avocados 
600 ml (20 1⁄2 fl oz) cashew nut milk or rice milk 
1 teaspoon salt 
1⁄2 lemon, juiced 
1 teaspoon ground turmeric 
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
freshly grated nutmeg 
2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil 

Pulse all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and serve the soup chilled. 

MEDICINAL BENEFIT: HEART, SKIN Avocado is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid. A diet rich in these acids can help lower LDL, otherwise known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, and increase HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol, helpful in preventing coronary artery disease. Avocados also contain vitamins A, K, E (great for skin) and B (for muscle growth). Cashew nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids too, plus important micronutrients and minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Turmeric root contains curcumin, a potent compound that not only imparts a deep orange colour, but can exhibit anti-tumour, antioxidant, anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory attributes. Turmeric’s phytonutrient profile is off the charts and its total antioxidant strength is one of the highest of all the herbs and spices.

I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. 


  1. Sounds like a wonderful book Lisa, love the soup and all the healthy and fabulous ingredients and spices used.

  2. All my favourite super foods in one set..I need to make this ASAP too.

  3. wow, this sounds awesome. i've been looking for ways to use turmeric such that i can't taste it, and i think this would be perfect.

  4. intrigued by the cookbook... that soup - Malaysian Spiced Pumpkin and Coconut - gave me a smile because something very similar will be my next blog post... I hope you get a chance to stop by, it is scheduled for Monday... (shameless self-advertisement)... ;-)

    This avocado soup seems so silky!

  5. Isn't it nice to hear good comments about food? It seems the media always bombards us about what not to eat that it's nice to hear what we should. Avocados are so good, but I have yet to adapt to almond milk. Perhaps they will help!

  6. I know the weather will still be warm when we return to Florida from our trip to Europe. I think this will be served at our table soon.


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