Yesterday I made a great vegetable soup! I thought maybe it would be fun to share.
My husband loves to eat soup. He always has and over the years I have learned many different ways to prepare a good soup. Sometimes I will make one I have learned from the States. Other times I will make one Honduran style.
Soup is just a great food. I try to make it at least once a week. The kids enjoy it as well, but maybe not as much as their parents do (they like their veggies raw more than cooked – go figure)!
When cooking many times I don’t measure. I know that can throw a lot of people off, but when I was first married that’s how I was taught. Just throw it in and taste. Plus receipts aren’t written down as much here in Honduras. It’s more by taste than by measuring cup. I will do my best to explain how to make this easy but yummy soup.
**First remember that in Honduras we do make food in bigger quantities. Usually we like to have left overs. Then we can have it for the next day too. However, one of the main reasons we cook like this is in case we have company over unexpectedly. The custom here is to offer something to eat if someone stops over for a visit. If we don’t have a meal then at least make sure you have some type of bread/cookie and a cup of coffee.**
When starting this soup I first begin to heat up water for the base. I add onions, green pepper, and tomatoes all chopped up. After that boils and cooks for a few minutes I add my flavor(s). Here we don’t have chicken stock or veggie broth already made to buy from the store. So we add consume (chicken bouillon), salt, adobo (I like the one with a red cap), and/or other flavors. Also one great way to add amazing flavor is by using cilantro. If you have never tried it then I suggest adding it to your soup only a few minutes (5 or so) before your soup is done cooking. The flavor will surprise you! My husband doesn’t like dreary looking food so I try to add flavoring that has color to it. He gets a bit sad when his food looks too “blah” to the eye. The quantities are to taste. We make a lot of soup at one time so I have to add more flavor than maybe what you would want to.
While that is boiling I am getting my veggies ready to add and cook. This time I added:
- sweet potato (here it is not as orange, more white looking)
- pataste (also know as chayote or a vegetable pear – peel and cut)
- yucca (a root & starchy like food – peel and cut)
- green beans
- noodles of choice (a handful only)
- red beans (only a bit for something different)
There are so many other things you can add or substitute for the above veggies listed. For some of the veggies I have listed look to a Hispanic food store or now days you can find them at some regular grocery stores as well. Just have fun with whatever veggies you want to add – all are game. Soup here is like a stew in the U.S. The veggies are cut into bigger pieces, but we use a lot more water to make it more soupy. Make sure you wash your veggies really well before adding them to your soup.
Be careful not to cook the veggies to long otherwise they get mushy. Use a fork to poke your vegetables - they should be tender. The cabbage I add last after I turn the soup off. I add the big pieces/wedges of cabbage and cover the pot. It cooks just fine with the heat of the soup.
Remember for a great tasting soup use a variety of good vegetables. They are what give the great flavor to a great homemade soup!