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Friday, April 24, 2015

MEXICAN STYLE CHICKEN SOUP 3 WAYS inc. Sopa de Flan & Sopa Ranchera and GF Tortilla "Croutons"

Mexican Style Chicken Soup Rustic Style

Mexican Style Chicken Soup, Home style

No matter how you serve it Mexican Style Chicken Soup is a wonderful, deep flavored soup packed with seasonal vegetables.
The secret to this deliciousness, is the broth, cooked for hours, slowly poaching a whole chicken..this is NOT Mexican Fast Food.

The basic Soup Broth:

 serves 8 
1x 5 pound stewing chicken, cut up, kidneys ( if you don't remove it will result in a bitter broth, the kidneys are in the backbone) and giblets removed.

6 cups water
2 cups sliced onions
1 cup coarsely chopped celery

1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
 1 x 16ozs canned tomatoes in their juice, either diced or whole and chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
2 cups chopped onion
5 cloves garlic smashed and minced

In a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid ( a Dutch oven works great)
Add the water, the washed chicken pieces, celery, onion slices and salt & pepper.
Bring to boil and cover tightly Simmer for 2 hours, or until chicken is tender.

Remove from heat and remove the chicken pieces from the broth, and set them aside to cool.
Add the undrained can of tomatoes, the 2 cups onion, 2 cups carrots and minced garlic, simmer for a further 30 mins until carrots are tender, also remove and scum/fat  from surface of broth.
Check seasonings (be careful adding salt as lime or lemon wedges used to serve also add salty flavors) and then carry on as for the following 3 recipes:

 Mexican Chicken Soup  Sopa de Pollo a la Mexicana

serves 8

Add 2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini or Mexican white squash & the chopped chicken* to the broth.
(*When the chicken is cool enough to handle remove all skin, bones and sinews, and chop the larger pieces into bite sized ) 
 and simmer for 20 mins, add the 1 cup defrosted peas and 1/2  cup  minced cilantro.
(you may also add corn on cobs cut into 3's) simmer further 15 mins.
Top with rest of minced cilantro and  2 avocados sliced.
Serve hot with lime wedges,  tortillas and some chopped fresh white onions or scallions for diners to help themselves.

Custard Soup    Sopa de Flan serves 4

Preheat oven 325F
 in a medium bowl whisk together well,
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt dash black pepper

Pour into a buttered 8x4x2 inch loaf pan and place in a roasting pan of hot water and bake middle oven  for 25-30 mins or until set.
Remove from oven and when cool enough remove from water bath and set aside to cool.
When cold cut into small squares, set aside.
For the soup

Make a white roux with 2tbsp butter and 
                             2 tbsp all purpose flour

Then add 2 1/2 cups of the chicken broth 
and bring to high simmer stirring well.

When this has thickened slightly add
3/4 cup single or whipping cream, and the custard cubes.
On low simmer heat through and serve in warmed bowls.
This is a light and delicate soup and very good for invalids.

 Ranch Style Chicken Soup   Sopa Ranchera 
    serves 4

1 cup minced onion
1 tbsp safflower oil
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup long grain rice (if using brown rice, pre-cook)
1/4 cup tomato puree
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch black pepper
1 cup defrosted peas

Saute the onion in the hot oil, until opaque, then add the stock and bring to boil.
Add the tomato puree and rice, simmer for 25 mins covered,
Add salt & pepper to taste and add the peas.
Simmer for further 5 mins and serve.

Variations :

add whatever seasonal vegetables are available.

I like to cook my chicken in a crockpot, which makes a very concentrated chicken broth, then, add more water later for making soups.

The cooked chopped chicken can be added to any of the soup recipes for the final 20 mins if simmering.

TORTILLA "CROUTONS"   here's a great way to use up any corn tortillas and they are also great with salads as well as soups.
They are also Gluten free!!

7 x 6inch corn tortillas
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup minced onion or scallions
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Grape seed or peanut oil for frying at high temps

Rip the tortillas into small pieces and soak in the milk for about 10 mins.
Then place in a blender or processor and blend until smooth.
In a medium bowl combine the tortilla mix with the onions, cheese, beaten egg and salt and pepper.
Set aside for 30 mins.
Then using a tablespoon, shape into small balls about the size of a walnut, and fry in 1/2 inch  hot oil for about 2 mins per side, turning once.
Drain on Kitchen paper or wire rack and serve warm either IN the soups or on the side.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Here is a wonderful dish, and perfect for any occasion either weeknight supper or entertaining.
You may also substitute chicken or veal  for the pork, ( if using chicken cook for less time)

Serves 4

2 pounds pork stewing meat, ( all fat and sinew removed) cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup water or stock
1/2 cup minced onion
3 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Add everything to a 3 qt saucepan, and cook the meat, on high simmer for 45-60 mins until tender. Keep covered.
Drain the meat and reserve the broth, adding more water or stock to make up 1 1/2 cups.

Meanwhile in a  small saucepan:
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts or almonds.
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup dairy sour cream or double cream

 Melt the butter and add the onion, cook to opaque then add the chopped nuts.
Remove from heat and add the flour and cream.
Gradually stir in the hot stock to make a thick sauce.
Then add the cooked meat and check seasonings.
Return to heat and continue to cook until sauce is nice and thick and warmed through, do not cook on high heat or it will burn/scorch.

Serve over hot steamed brown rice, quinoa or bulgur wheat.

This may be garnished with, cilantro leaves,  chopped nuts, raisins and/or fresh pomegranate seeds.

Variations :
Try adding some white wine to the cooking of the meat and finish the dish with some brandy or whisky.