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Mussel Soup with Avocado, Tomato, and Dill

['1 1/2 pounds leeks (3 medium; white and pale green parts only), quartered lengthwise, then sliced crosswise', '2 tablespoons unsalted butter', '4 (3-inch) sprigs fresh thyme', '1 (12-ounce) bottle lager', '1 1/2 cups water', '3 pounds mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed well and beards removed if attached', '1 cup half-and-half', '1/4 teaspoon salt', '1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground white pepper', '1 (8-ounce) firm-ripe avocado', '18 very small grape or pear tomatoes (1/4 pound), halved', '3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill']

Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out leeks and pat dry.
Cook leeks in butter in a wide 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beer and water, then increase heat to moderately high and bring to a boil. Add mussels and return liquid to a boil, partially covered. Cook, completely covered, stirring occasionally, just until mussels open wide, checking frequently after 4 minutes and transferring to a large bowl. (Discard any mussels that remain unopened after 8 minutes.)
Working over a bowl, remove mussels from shells and put in bowl (discard shells along with any clinging leeks). Pour any cooking liquid accumulated in bowl back into pot.
Pour cooking liquid through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth or dampened paper towels into a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in half-and-half, salt, and white pepper, then heat over moderately low heat until hot (do not let boil). Stir in mussels and heat until just warmed through.
Meanwhile, halve avocado, then peel 1 half (wrap remaining half tightly in plastic wrap and reserve for another use). Cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then toss gently with tomatoes and dill in a bowl.
Divide soup among 6 shallow bowls and spoon some avocado mixture into each. Serve immediately.

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