sublime concoctions

{September 27, 2010}   Pretty Pepicha (aka Tortilla soup)

Tomatillo’s, serrano peppers, pepicha, zucchini, roasted garlic, onion, kale black beans and organic chicken- this is the beginnings of a delicious tortilla soup- topped with avocado, toasted sprouted corn tortillas and queso……..♥…the farmer’s market was so generous yesterday-

I happened upon a stand yesterday with some growers who boast no- chemicals and have these amazing Mexican herbs and wonderful assortments of greens and peppers. I found a huge bunch of  basil and close by was an herb so beautiful and enticing I knew right away I was going to make something to feature this herb.

Pipicha or pepecha is an herb from Oaxaca, Mexico. The flavor and aroma have elements of pine, citrus and mint.  I added this at the end of my soup- where I would’ve normally added cilantro-  it is likened to Cilantro- yet I did not think it was comparable  really- however, you want to use either pepicha OR cilantro. The man explained to me typically this herb is cooked with corn or zucchini. I took a hint and decided it was going to accent some soup- or should I say, the soup accented this bright herb I cant normally find everyday- that is the beauty of finding something within a season.

Tomatillos – about 6 or 7 quartered

white or yellow onion- 1 chopped roughly

5 or 6 lg cloves of garlic-smashed out of the skin

about tsp of mustard seeds

adobo peppers, 1 or 2 ( leave out to remove heat if making for kids)

chicken on bone- 2 chicken breasts or thighs combo

zucchini – 3 or 4 smaller young

1 cup kale or collard

bay leave, pepper, cumin, salt pepper

avocado , lime, corn tortillas, cheese

saute the onion, garlic, tomatillo, and mustard seed in your favorite oil- i make sure they are nice and  “pan roasted” – with a nice hint of dark color and everything evenly cooked through- take all, scrape into a blender- zip with a cup or 2 of chicken broth-(and adobo pepper if you have it) throw in pan .

Chicken on bone- 2 big breasts or some thighs if you want- throw in broth with about 6-8 more cups of water, boil for 30 min with some salt (tsp or so) pepper , bay leaf and  1 .5 tsp cumin .  remove chicken to plate- Add 3 or 4 small sliced zucchini,  about 2 c of chopped kale, can black beans , test for seasoning- add salt as desired-

garnish with lime,  favorite cheese, sliced corn tortillas, and 1/4 avocado sliced,

my favorite touch is to toast the tortillas in pan meting cheese between and letting them cool off a bit before slicing them into strips- pan roasting a poblano pepper in strips is also nice- which i did in this version for the people who wanted heat in the soup.


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