Sopa de Queso

Ok, this is going to be the worst recipe ever for a really good soup. For one thing, if you don't live in Nicaragua, you're going to have to do some serious substituting. For another, I took measurements of no things while I was learning how to make this or making it myself. So everything in here is my best guestimate. I'm hoping someone (Bonnie) will make this and tell me how they tweaked it!

For the Arepas:

2 cups maseca (instant corn flour)
1 cup shredded cheese*
1/2 tomato, minced finely
1/2 chiltoma (small green pepper can be substituted), minced finely
1/4 med onion, minced finely

Mix flour and water to make a soft dough. Kneed until smooth. Incorporate the cheese and veg. Adjust seasoning until it tastes good. You can use chicken flavored bouillon instead of, or in addition to, the salt. Divide and make into 2.5" diameter coasters. Fry in hot oil until nicely golden. It took longer than I thought to fry them because you have to let the corn cook all the way through.

*Notes on cheese. Nicaraguan cheese is semi-hard and very salty. I asked what it was called so I could look for it in an international store in the States. It's called cheese, they said to me. Oh, thanks guys. In any case, the closest substitution I can think of is to maybe mix cheddar and parmesan. Or really just use whatever cheese you fancy. 

For the Soup:

3-4 cups water
2 packets sopa Maggi (instant soup mix, chicken flavored)
1/2 tomato, minced finely
1/2 chiltoma, minced finely
1/4 med onion, minced finely (so cut up one whole tomato, etc. and use half for the cheesy things and half for the soup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch cilanto or mint, minced
2 chayote, peeled, seed removed, and diced (Google tells me this is a kind of squash. If you do find it, rub a little oil on your hands before you peel it or they will be brown all day)
1 ripe plantain, wash, remove the ends and cut into chunks but not peeled
1/3 cup maseca
Ayote (this is a red colorant), Optional
1/2 cup cream or milk

Put the water on to boil in a stock pot. Add the soup mix and minced veg mixture. Chuck in the chayote and plantains (the original soup doesn't have veggies but I prefer to add them, so you can feel free to substitute or omit altogether). When veggies are nearly done, mix the corn flour with a little water and ayote until smooth and add to the soup along with the cilantro. Adjust seasoning to taste. Before serving, stir in the cream.

To serve:

Put one or two fried cheesy things in a bowl, top with soup. Bask in the glow of compliments as your family scarfs down this deliciousness.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

so, that cheese to me, looks like feta ! could i substitute that ??