Can we talk about 2002? Hmm, let’s not and say we did. In all seriousness, that was a turbulent year for me. I was living in Little Italy with an absent roommate, who was blithely unaware of my escalating drug and alcohol addiction. It was the year of blackouts, of me listening to Chinese arias in the alleyways, and falling asleep to the theme song from The Godfather, blasted by the owners of the restaurant, La Mela, below.
However, 2002 was also the year I quit blow and needed to do something with hands. I needed to be occupied. I had put myself through war and my body sought asylum. So instead of going out on the weekends, I holed up in my apartment and watched hours of The Food Network–back when The Food Network was actually good. I passed days watching Ina Garten bake chicken and fix green goddess dressing, or Nigella cooing over a Babel-esque cupcake tower.
2002 was also the year I discovered THE AVOCADO. In avocado, I trusted. Avocado for president, and the like. Me being the addict I was, I subsisted on avocados for weeks. In retrospect, I could’ve written a book detailing all the ways in which one could consume said fruit. As a result, I developed an allergy so horrifying, a spoonful of guacamole became the equivalent of appendicitis. My body saw the fruit as an invader, another substance trying to wheedle its way in, and it went on the defensive. Team Felicia, etc.
I haven’t been able to stomach large quantities of avocado until today. My nutritionist recommended this soup because it would be a slow introduction back to the fruit, rather than me taking a fork and plunging in. You can’t imagine the trepidation I had while blitzing this soup. I had to clear the calendar in the event that I’d be rolling around in pain in my home.
However, I am happy to report that I am ALIVE and KICKING, to quote Simple Minds. While I only had a small portion, it was enough to sustain me. The soup is deceptively creamy (avocado), yet cool and light (cucumber, coconut water). I made two versions: one with cilantro and one with parsley, and both were equally divine.
Brief parenthetical: this clean eating business has me buying herbs and greens like you don’t even know. Below is a snap of the contents of my fridge. The second shelf is 80% filled with spinach, kale (3 kinds), and HERBS: cilantro, mint, dill, scapes, parsley, 2 types of chives, and I can go on. I’ve taken this notion of reframing this mindful journey as one which involves copious amounts of seasoning.
INGREDIENTS: Recipe from Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar
1 large ripe avocado or 2 small ripe avocados
1 large cucumber or 2 small cucumbers
1 green spring onion, chopped, plus extra to garnish (I used onion chives, as that’s what I had on hand)
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ cup coriander (cilantro) leaves (I made another version of this with parsley, and it was lovely)
1 1/2 cups/125 ml coconut water
juice of ½ lime
1 pinch of cayenne pepper or ground cumin
full-fat organic yoghurt, to garnish (I nixed this)
Season with salt + pepper
Combine all the ingredients except the yoghurt in a blender or food processor until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more coconut water. Pour into serving bowls and cover with a plate or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Serve garnished with a dollop of yoghurt and some spring onions.