Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shrimp Diablo and Chilled Avocado Soup

Hot and cold, spicy and mild....this duo lends credence to the old saying "opposites attract." The shrimp is marinated in a puree that includes the infamous habanero chili pepper; one whole pepper gave me exactly the spice I wanted without obliterating the flavor of the shrimp. Of course, a milder pepper could be substituted--or just omit the chili altogether and go all the way with the garlic chili sauce. When handling hot peppers, remember to wash your hands well immediately after. Not only do you want to avoid getting the pepper's oils in your eyes, but you also want to avoid touching anything else. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up with burning eyes because I went straight from chopping block to the computer. Trust me, capsaicin lasts a long time on hard surfaces.

The soup is a chilled vegan soup that can easily be adapted to a raw recipe. The creamy cooling action of the avocado and sour coconut cream (recipe here!) tame the spicy kick of the shrimp beautifully. If you choose to serve the soup alone, I'd recommend kicking the cayenne up a notch to help bring out the avocado and lime.

In the interest of time-management, I made the soup first so it would chill the necessary amount of time. Once the soup is in the fridge, I prepped the rest of the ingredients and got the shrimp into the marinade. The corn can be prepared during the last 15 minutes of the shrimp's marinating time, and then all that is left to worry about is babysitting the crustaceans so they don't overcook. After that it's just a matter of whisking the soup ingredients together and plating!

Shrimp Diablo

2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs garlic chili sauce
1/2 to 1 whole habanero pepper
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tbs oil (chili infused, if desired)
1 lb large raw shrimp, peeked and deveined

Place all ingredients except the shrimp into the blender and puree. Combine sauce and shrimp in a freezer bag and marinate for 30 minutes.

Skewer shrimp, if desired. Grill or broil about 5 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes each side. Serves 4.

4 ripe avocados
2 tbs lime juice
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock, chilled
1 shallot, minced
3 tbs cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne powder, or to taste
1 tbs butter or olive oil
1 c corn kernels
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/2 tsp cumin
1/3 c red bell pepper, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
chili oil, if desired to finish

In a blender or food processor, puree the avocados with the lemon juice until smooth. Add the stock, shallot, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and cayenne pepper; blend well. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and chill for at least one hour.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat butter or oil over medium-high heat. Add corn, zest, cumin, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt; saute until corn is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and stir in red bell pepper and last tablespoon of cilantro. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Whisk the sour coconut cream into the avocado puree and salt/pepper to taste. Spoon the warm corn salsa over the soup just before serving. Finish with a drizzle of chili oil. Makes about 6 cups of soup.


  1. I really want to like chilled soup, but I've had a hard time in the past...this looks good, though; I think I could get down with it.

  2. Think of it as a sour cream and avocado sauce. My daughter actually used it on tacos!