Chilled avocado, kumara, coconut & ginger soup with radish

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Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey


By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

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In summer, there’s not much better than a bowl of chilled soup on a hot day. The most popular chilled soup would undoubtedly be Spain’s gazpacho, but the reality is that many hot soups, if served cold, are also quite delicious, and many chilled soups, if heated, are likewise. However, this soup isn’t one of them. Don’t think that in the midst of a snowy winter you might serve this hot and it will still be delicious - when I tried it I found it to be a little strange, even for my taste. All the ingredients work in harmony in this soup, possibly because they’re all quite rich in texture and flavour, and the chilling of the soup helps to keep them mellow. In some ways, this soup owes its genealogy to the legendary chilled leek and potato soup called vichyssoise, but if you were to characterise that soup as a humble French country peasant, then this must be the exotic, distant cousin who decided to become a global back-packer. It’s really important that the avocados you use for this are ripe, with no discoloured pieces, if they’re not ripe the soup will be bland.


  • 300 g peeled kumara (or use white-fleshed sweet potatoes)
  • 2 thumbs of ginger, peeled and sliced against the grain
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 10-cm pandan leaf, tied into a knot, or 2 lime leaves or 1 bay leaf
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) extra virgin avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to garnish
  • 20-30 ml (1-2 Tbsp) lime or lemon juice (to taste)
  • a handful of radishes, sliced


Slice the kumara thinly and place in a saucepan with the ginger, coconut milk and pandan leaf. Add 1 litre water and place over a moderate heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then put a lid on and simmer until the kumara is cooked. Take off the heat and leave to cool, or to speed things up, transfer it into a clean wide bowl and leave it to cool. Run a knife around the avocados and twist them open, then remove the stones. Using a large spoon scoop out the flesh and add this to the mixture, reserving a quarter of an avocado to be used for garnish. Add the avocado oil to the mixture then pureée it using either a stick blender or a bar blender. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Put the pureéed soup in the fridge and leave it to chill for at least 3 hours.

Just before serving, stir in lime juice (to taste), the soup needs a little acidity to cut through the rich flavours. Add extra salt if needed as well. Cut the reserved avocado into chunks.

To Serve

Pour into chilled bowls, scatter with sliced radishes and the reserved avocado then drizzle on the extra avocado oil.