Tetsuya's in Sydney is one of the world's great restaurants, with a famously intricate degustation menu served to rapturous response Tuesday to Saturday. It is the sort of place where people get engaged, where anniversaries are celebrated, where close friends are spoiled, and where you need to book weeks (if not months) in advance to secure a table. For the last four years, Tetsuya's has rated in the Top Ten Restaurants in the World. According to Charlie Trotter, who would know a thing or two about this, "Tetsuya is part of an elite group of international chefs that has influenced other chefs through their personal styles and unique approaches to food. His amazing technique, Asian heritage, sincere humility, worldwide travels and insatiable curiosity combine to create incredible, soulful dishes that exude passion in every bite."
Some years ago, I was given the Tetsuya cookbook, and I have to confess, it sat on my shelf for quite a long time because I was too intimidated to cook from it. Lucky enough to have eaten at Tetsuya's, I could not believe that I had the skills necessary to do justice to anything in the book. So, imagine my surprise when I finally opened the book to discover the most incredibly beautiful, but easy cold avocado soup. There are people in the world, who do not like cold soups (probably not living in hot countries) and people who do not like avocado. As long as you do not belong to either of these groups, this soup will make you very happy. It is easy, can be made in advance as long as you press clingwrap on the surface of the soup so it doesn't brown, and requires no special ingredients or technique at all. Perfect, elegant dinner party food. Just as the master intended.
Cold Avocado Soup
adapted from "Tetsuya" by Tetsuya Wakuda
400-500 ml milk
a pinch of castor sugar
salt and pepper
garnish (I used pomegranate seeds, Tetsuya suggests salmon roe or caviar; pick something that is both crunchy and either salty or sour - what you need is a texture contrast, against the smooth creaminess of the soup.)
Place avocados in a blender. Add half the milk and blend, starting on a low speed. Slowly add more milk until you reach the texture / thickness that you like. This should not take longer than about a minute or so. Add sugar, and then season generously with salt and pepper (white pepper if you have it). If you store it in the fridge before serving, press cling wrap onto the surface of the soup, and if it thickens, you may want to thin it a little with a touch more milk before serving. Serve in small bowls - this soup is too rich for a big bowl.