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May 17, 2010

Recipe for avocado bisque with tarragon

Avocado bisque, served in tea cups. 

Three avocados, left over from a spate of quesadilla-making and held at perfect ripeness in the refrigerator, inspired the search for a cold soup recipe. When I found this one, I looked out into the herb garden and saw that, yes, I had just enough tarragon to make it. Unlike many avocado soups that can be heavy and cream-laden, this one tastes light and bright. Serve it in Chinese tea cups, for an elegant appetizer, or in soup bowls as the centerpiece of lunch on a warm day.

Avocado bisque with tarragon

A lovely vegetarian soup adapted from the California Avocado Commission's web site. Serves 6.


3 cups 2% or whole milk
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
3 Hass avocados
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional; I didn't use it)
A few tarragon leaves, for garnish


In a small sauce pan, combine milk, tarragon and salt; bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not boil). Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. Pureé with an immersion blender (or in a stand blender, in batches if necessary) until the milk is frothy and the tarragon leaves are incorporated into the liquid.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend avocado and lemon juice until smooth. Whisk the avocado mixture into the milk. Stir in the cayenne. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt or cayenne, to taste.

Chill at least 2 hours to marry flavors. To serve, garnish each cup of soup with a bit of yogurt (optional) and fresh tarragon leaves.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Maria | May 17, 2010 at 01:44 PM

What pretty bowls of soup. I don't use tarragon enough, I will have to try this one.

Posted by: LinP | May 17, 2010 at 02:25 PM

Although I seldom have too many avocados (1 for the recipe,2 for me; 1 for the recipe, 3 for me, etc.) this is now on the list for my lunches. ~ a Twitter follower.

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | May 17, 2010 at 03:29 PM

Oh wow, this sounds wonderful. I have a bumper crop of tarragon already, need to start using it.

Posted by: marcia | May 17, 2010 at 03:31 PM

I learn something from your site nearly every day....put avo's in the fridge to stop ripening? WHO KNEW!!!! And this soup looks incredible....come on tarragon, poke your head up! We had 8" of snow last week, it may be a while. I may just buy tarragon for this one. Thank you SO much!

We had a lobster bisque in the Bahamas about a million years ago and I've never been able to duplicate that flavor. Bought some canned not too long but it was dreadful (dogs got it; they didn't like it much either :) ).

What IS it about bisque? Can't wait to try this.

Posted by: Lucia | May 17, 2010 at 07:04 PM

This soup not only tastes great, but it has a delightful mouth-feel.

Posted by: tasteofbeirut | May 17, 2010 at 08:13 PM

I had some cold avocado soup at a friend's house once and really liked it; love your version too, with a different spice mixture that what she used. Tarragon is always a great addition.

Posted by: Lydia | May 17, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Maria, Kalyn: tarragon is one of the earliest arrivals in my garden, and this soup was a perfect match for it. The early-season tarragon always seems more flavorful to me.

LinP, can you imagine how many avocados I bought to have three left over?!

Marcia, actually I learned the avocado-in-the-fridge trick from Kalyn's Kitchen, one of my favorite food blogs.

Lucia, thanks so much!

Taste of Beirut, I'd love to know about other possible spice combinations. Next time, I might make this just a little bit spicy.

Posted by: T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types | May 18, 2010 at 09:37 AM

I don't know that I've ever tried an avocado soup, but it sounds wonderful. Am I correct that the soup is pretty perishable, and should be eaten quickly after the two hour chilling period?

Posted by: Cynthia | May 9, 2011 at 10:11 PM

I love this soup! It is also lovely with watercress in place of the tarragon.

Posted by: Lydia | May 9, 2011 at 10:14 PM

TW, yes, this soup isn't a keeper. Make it and eat it the same day.

Cynthia, watercress is a great idea. I don't grow it in my garden. Do you?

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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