01 February 2011

Mexican Soup

I don't have many earth shattering recipes to share but since Snohomish Shepherdess inspires me daily with food from her kitchen, I thought I'd reciprocate and post one of my favorite recipes of all time, Mexican Soup.  I've shared it with just about everyone I know and it's a staple at family functions when my family gets together since it's healthy, easy and a 'build your own' type of soup ~ everyone can choose their own ingredients at the table.

Some of my husband's family used to winter in Baja California Sur in a house they built on the beach in a little place called Posada Concepcion on the Sea of Cortez, a few hours north of Loretto.  We took our first vacation as a married couple in 1996 and went to visit ~ it was my first trip to Mexico and we were treated to kayaking in the bay outside their front door, golfing (well, my husband golfed and I walked the course which was a great way to spend a day!), whale watching in Lopez Mateos, and a pig roast in Mulege.

One of the meals we cooked for ourselves was Mexican Soup.  We had the luxury of amazing farm fresh produce that periodically was sold from the back of an old pickup passing by.  It's basically chicken soup, with all the fixings for tacos, and it is Delicious!  I cooked a batch yesterday and we got the photo albums out after dinner and reminisced.  So, since one of the things about our journey down south that has stuck with me over the years is this soup, I'd love to share it with whoever comes across this blog post.  

 Baja Mexican Soup
Start with homemade chicken stock, or if you aren't lucky enough to have any on hand, here's what I did yesterday:
I used 4 quarts of chicken broth and boiled 5 lbs of bone-in skinned chicken thighs in the broth with a small handful of Mexican oregano until the meat was falling off the bone.  I removed all solids from the broth and set it aside to cool so I could skim the fat later on.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, debone and shred the meat.  I actually froze 1/2 the broth and 1/2 the meat to make Chicken and Dumplings later on.

For veggies for the soup, use whatever you like in a taco.  We use lettuce, tomato, green onions, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro and lime.  After washing everything well, shred the lettuce and cut the other veggies into bite size pieces (they will be flash cooked in the hot broth when you build your soup so you don't want the pieces too big!).  I squeeze lime on the cut avocado to keep it from browning, and also put a squeeze in my bowl of soup before eating.

Cook a pot of rice, enough for about 1/2 c cooked rice per person.  I've tried just about every type of rice and my favorite for this soup is Basmati.  I love the nutty flavor with the lime and cilantro.  Last night we tried this organic brown basmati ~ I prefer the flavor of the white stuff but I know, I know, the brown is better for you, blah, blah, blah....  It was alright but not my favorite.

Now the fun part ~ when you're ready to eat, start with a scoop of rice in the bottom of your bowl, followed by shredded chicken, and then your choice of the fresh uncooked veggies that you've prepared.  Ladle hot broth over the top ~ the veggies cook just enough that they're warm but still crunchy.  If you like it spicy, you can add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce but I prefer mine with a squeeze (or two!) of lime, and served with Cheddar Cilantro Quesadillas and a Mexican beer.

This is one of my favorite meals and I hope somebody that hasn't had it before gives it a try and loves it as much as I do.


  1. Melissa, This looks so amazingly delicious! I know I will be making it sometime very soon. Thanks you so much for sharing it! It is such a small, small world...my mom spends her winter's in that part of Baja where you first had this soup!

  2. Wow, Melissa, the soup recipe looks and sounds delicious. I would use shredded cabbage instead of lettuce myself. That's a pretty classic condiment on "sopas". Once I get through this weekend and our big moving sale, this will be on the menu. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Good luck with the moving sale, Andrea, and thanks for the cabbage idea!!

  4. The moving sale went splendidly - much stuff back out if circulation. A friend that volunteers at the LaConner Quilt and Textile Museum came to get EVERYTHING that was left to save for the Museum's big sale!

    I've got my broth chilling for fat skimming, the chicken and veggies ready for Mexican soup today. I can't wait to try it. I'm sure it will be a "super bowl" (Ha!)

  5. I'm so excited you're trying the soup! Can't wait to hear how 'super' it is ;)

    I'm on the final day-two steps of this Chili Con Carne recipe from the newest Bon Appetit...
    it's another keeper!

    Go Steelers!