Cream of Jalapeno Soup
This elegant soup is served at Grady Spears' Reata restaurant in Fort Worth. The Reata, which was on the top floor of the Bank One Tower, was closed after the 37-story building was heavily damaged by a tornado in 2000, and later reopened at its present location in Fort Worth's Sundance Square. The Reata experience is not to be missed if you're anywhere near Fort Worth. The original Reata location is in Alpine, Texas, "nestled in the southern end of the breathtaking Davis Mountains in west Texas," according to the Reata website.
- Mince the jalapeños and set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the jalapeños, onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, until vegetables are softened (not browned).
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the avocado, tomatoes and cream. Lower the temperature and return pan to heat, watching and stirring so the cream does not separate. Bring the soup slowly back to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 50 to 60 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
- Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro, reserving some for garnish. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining cilantro.
Note: Grady Spears is a great Texas chef, and stopping by for a meal at the Reata during a trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth area is highly recommended. He has several cookbooks to his credit, among them A Cowboy in the Kitchen: Recipes from Reata and Texas West of the Pecos.
Prep time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 1 hour 90 minutes; Total time: 2 hours
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell