Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nuevo Laredo Tlalpeño Soup

I brought my newest cookbook, Cowgirl Cuisine, up to Chicago for my Easter visit so I could read through it on the plane. I also thought I might find a side dish to make for Easter dinner. However we went to my aunt's for Easter Brunch and didn't feel hungry enough to make dinner before I had to catch the flight back to Tampa.

There looks to be a lot of good recipes in Cowgirl Cuisine and I decided to start with Nuevo Laredo Tlalpeño Soup. The cookbook focuses on Tex-Mex ranch style food. I went down to Laredo, TX a couple of years ago when visiting my sister in San Antonio. One of her friends has a real ranch down there where the boys go hunting. We did a little shopping in Laredo and got some really neat iron pieces. This recipe reminded me of this trip just because of its name.

Overall this recipe is for a pretty standard chicken soup. I realize that I have never made chicken soup from scratch before. I followed the recipe and made my own stock and all. I made the stock one evening and the soup the next day. My house smelled so awesome. It rained today and was a bit cool so that yummy chicken soup was so awesome.

What makes this recipe a bit different are the garnishes. Fresh avocado, fresh squeezed lime and chipotle peppers really gave it an awesome twist. It was fresh and spicy and comforting all at the same time.
Nuevo Laredo Tlalpeño Soup
(Serves 8)

chicken stock (makes about 10 cups)
1 whole young chicken (about 4 to 4 1/2 pounds)
1 onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
6 peppercorns
2 to 3 cloves
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
10 cups chicken stock
2 15-ounce chicken cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 cups shredded chicken breast (about 1 whole breast)
freshly ground black pepper

for garnish
lime wedges
chopped avocado
chopped cilantro
chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Rinse the chicken, place in a large pot or Dutch oven, and add water to cover (about 10 cups). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and skim any fat the rises to the top. Add the onion, celery, carrot, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and salt. Reduce the heat and gently simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. If serving immediately, remove the chicken and skim and strain the stock. If not, refrigerate the chicken overnight, then skim the fat the next day (it will be easier to remove) and strain.

Remove the chicken meat from the carcass. Use a fork to shred the breast meat for the soup and reserve the dark meat for another use.

To prepare the soup, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and leek, stir to coat with oil, and then cover and allow them to steam for about 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add the celery and carrot and cook, stirring, for a few more minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas and chicken and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, ladle the soup into large, wide bowls and garnish with lime wedges, chopped avocado, cilantro and chopped chipotle peppers in adobo.


Anonymous said...

Next time try to go across to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. And look for a restaurant named "La Fogata".

They serve the best Tlalpeño Soup (Caldo Tlalpeño) in town

Mark said...

I really enjoyed this recipe. I used chicken broth for the stock (lazy) and it came out terrificly. The avocado was a perfect garnish.