Chipotle Beef and Avocado Soup

I love this Tex-Mex take on beef vegetable soup! The creamy bites of avocado take the place of the cheese and sour cream usually added to Tex-Mex soups, giving it a guacamole-type flavor. You can adjust the heat level by the amount of chipotle pepper you use. To make a milder version, use only the adobo sauce from a can and omit the chipotle pepper itself.

Prep time 35 minutes
Serves 8 to 10

11/2 pounds (680 g) beef-stew meat (like chuck or round cuts)
2 teaspoons (12 g) sea salt, plus optional salt to taste
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 or 2 chipotle peppers plus 1 tablespoon (20 g) sauce, from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 tablespoons (59 ml) avocado oil
5 cups (1.2 liters) Homemade Beef Stock
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
1 medium onion, diced
1 large potato (12 ounces, or 340 grams), russet or sweet
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons (90 g) tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced

1 Place the beef in a medium bowl. Add 2 teaspoons salt, the cumin, oregano, black pepper, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce. Toss the beef and seasonings with your hands, ensuring that the beef is evenly coated.
2 Measure 1 cup (235 ml) of stock and set it next to the stove. Heat 2 tablespoons (29 ml) of avocado oil in a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in two batches, until it is golden brown in spots. It does not need to be cooked through. Transfer the meat to a 4- or 6-quart (3.8 or 5.7 liter) slow cooker. While the pan is still very hot, pour 1/2 cup (120 ml) of stock into it and scrap the browned bits on the bottom until they release. Pour the liquid into the slow cooker with the meat.
3 Add the carrots, onion, potatoes, and garlic to the slow cooker.
4 Whisk the tomato paste into a 1/2 cup (120 ml) of stock and pour it into the cooker, along with the chili powder, 1 teaspoon lime zest, and juice from the lime.
5 Add the remaining 31/2 cups (830 ml) of stock. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Meat should be tender and potatoes should easily pierce with a fork.
6 Taste, adding more salt and lime juice if necessary. Add the diced avocado and cook for another 10 minutes before serving.