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Chilly Willy's Avocado Soup

Yield 4 main-dish servings
On a trip to Puerto Vallarta in the mid-'80s, Leslie Giffin discovered this delicious chicken and avocado soup at Chilly Willy's--a quaint restaurant by the river. The restaurant is no more, but because the soup is so quick and easy, Giffin often re-creates it for guests. Any tiny pasta can be used instead of the orzo.


  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup dried orzo pasta
  • 2 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (about 1/2 lb. total)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 firm-ripe avocado (about 6 oz.)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 299
  • caloriesfromfat 26 %
  • protein 24 g
  • fat 8.7 g
  • satfat 2.3 g
  • carbohydrate 32 g
  • fiber 2.2 g
  • sodium 243 mg
  • cholesterol 39 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring broth, onion, celery, garlic, and pepper to a boil. Add pasta and chicken; return to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and simmer until chicken is white in thickest part (cut to test), about 5 minutes. With tongs, lift out breasts and let stand. Continue simmering soup until pasta is tender to bite, about 2 minutes more. Reduce heat to very low and keep soup warm.

  3. When chicken is just cool enough to handle, in about 5 minutes, tear into coarse shreds and return to pan.

  4. Stir lemon juice, parsley, and cilantro into soup. Ladle into wide bowls.

  5. Peel, pit, and thinly slice avocado; add to bowls.