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Avocado and Vegetable Soup

YIELD: 4 servings

1 large (12 oz.) fully ripened Mexican Hass avocado
1 Tbsp., divided lemon juice
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup chopped leeks
1¼ cup, divided tomatoes, seeded and chopped
⅔ cup fresh corn kernels
1 tsp. chopped garlic
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups vegetable broth
¾ cup soy milk
avocado slices for (optional) garnish

1. Cut avocado lengthwise around the middle; twist to separate halves; remove pit with a knife blade; scoop out flesh with a spoon; cut enough into ¼" dice to make ¼ cup.

2. Toss with 1 tsp. of lemon juice and set aside. Cut remaining avocado into large chunks; place in food processor with remaining 2 tsps. of lemon juice.

3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil. Add leeks; sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of the tomatoes, all of the corn, garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until hot.

4. Add half of the vegetables to the avocado in the food processor; process until smooth.

5. Add broth and soy milk to vegetables still in saucepan; bring to full boil. Stir in the pureed avocado mixture.

6. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top with reserved chopped avocado and tomato. Garnish with avocado slices, if desired.

Photo and recipe: Creative Dining Services, Zeeland, MI

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