Well my friends, you know what they say about making plans, right? We make’em and somebody else laughs or something like that. I’m home again; For the good news, I’m happy to report that Panama is actually cooler than Houston is currently. Imagine that. But, the bad news are that my mami’s health continues to deteriorate and so I’ve come to check on her, spend some time with her, ‘boss her around’ as she has told my siblings and I. She also asked me to cook for her as she isn’t a fan of hospital food, and so I have been for the past 3 days.
I will continue to attempt updating posts on the schedule I had committed to, but I am asking for your patience. I’m having to manage preparing foods, spending most of the day with Mami at the hospital, sometimes nights too, such as last night. I will also attempt to incorporate some work in, blogging will have to be squeezed into a nook or cranny some days. On the other hand, being in Panama, I’ll have an excellent repertoire of Latin dishes! YAY!
Today I will share with you a soup Mami made for us growing up, it was her sneaky way of getting us to eat our vegetables. It is a chicken soup base she would cram full of any and all vegetables seasonally available. There was a wide range of goodies: carrots, chayote and acorn squash, potatoes, spinach—you get the picture. This is an easy and quick soup to make, cooking time is very low and the final rewards are wonderful.
Mami’s Chicken & Veggie Soup (Cream)
Chicken pieces, with bone preferably
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Culantro or cilantro leaves
Vegetables of choice
Sea salt & ground black pepper
Season the chicken pieces with salt & pepper and chop all the vegetables into chunks. Heat a pot over high heat and add the oil. Brown the chicken in batches as necessary. Once all the chicken has been browned, remove the excess fat and add about ½ cp of water to help scrape the drippings off the bottom. Add the cilantro leaf and veggies, then add water to cover.
Once it comes to a boil, lower the temperature and allow it to simmer until everything is tender. To ensure we ate all the vegetables, my mami used to puree it all. Remove the chicken meat from the bone, then place the stock, chicken and veggies in the blender or food processor. The beauty of this extra step is that you end up with a thick, flavorful chicken cream without the added calories of heavy cream. My dad, however, doesn’t care for the cream style soups, so he got it straight out of the pot. Serve with white rice.