SOPA DE QUESO : Cheese Soup With Green Chile And Potato
Thanks to waves of European immigrants who arrived in the early twentieth century, the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua produces remarkable cheeses. Most are made for export to other parts of the country, but small local dairies still craft young cheeses from raw cows’ milk that are never refrigerated. The creamy flavor and melting texture of these old-fashioned cheeses speaks worlds about the goodness of simple country food. This rustic soup is usually made with menonita or Chihuahua cheese, which melts with the heat of the broth. Soft Muenster or a mild Gouda is a good substitute. SERVES 4 to 6
INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon salted butter ½ white onion, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped 1 pound red or white rose potatoes 6 cups Caldo de Res or Caldo de Pollo 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded and diced 10 ounces Chihuahua (menonita) or Muenster cheese, gratedTO SERVE Chopped fresh cilantro DIRECTIONS Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the tomato and cook, stirring frequently, until the pan is almost dry, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker. Peel the potatoes and cut into neat ½-inch cubes. You should have about 4 cups. Add to the slow cooker along with the broth and salt. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Add the poblanos and cheese and stir slowly until the cheese melts into the soup. Continue cooking on low for 30 minutes more. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a little chopped cilantro. VARIATIONS • Roast the tomatoes until they are soft and charred and chop to a pulp before adding to the soup. • Just before serving, stir in a spoonful of heavy cream or Mexican crema. • Substitute 3 cups of Consommé de Camarón plus 3 cups of water, for the beef or chicken broth.