Monday, December 22, 2008

Posadas, quick bites & Mexico sights.

In a whirlwind of activity & colorful South of the Border holiday activity our college girl came to visit us in Mexico last week. We shopped the Mercado de Navidad, lunched with friends, attended a traditional Mexican Posada & spent some mother daughter time as well. `While in town we ate fabulous Carnitas, loads of guacamole & I made her favorite soup. The Cheese Soup I make is a Texas favorite & an adaptation of a recipe from Austin's 1886 Cafe and Bakery from the historic Driskill Hotel. It's easy, filling & warms a cold evening. The cold snap being experienced to the north has dipped down into Northern Mexico dropping temperatures.~Yes,Virginia... it does get cold in Mexico but not for long. As we head back to Texas for Christmas I've packed the coats knowing that the cold snap with hit sooner than later!

She helped make hard choices at the Mercado & saw the Christmas sights in Santiago. Katerina however, was less than thrilled with her little pink Christmas sombrero...

Cheese Soup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup carrot, minced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 lb. grated Velveeta or mild cheddar
1 jar Old English cheese spread
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 dash cayenne or to taste
1 dash paprika or to taste
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon white pepper or to taste
several dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, bell pepper, carrots and celery until translucent and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cornstarch. Cook about 3 to 5 more minutes. Add stock and milk gradually, blending until smooth, and reduce by 1/4. Do not allow to boil at any point. Add baking soda and cheese and stir until melted and thickened, about 10 minutes. Add parsley, cayenne, and paprika. Keep soup warm over very low heat or in a double boiler if not using immediately. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8.


Nancy said...

Looks like you had some fun! Very colorful photos and another non-smiling John picture!
Happy holidays!

Dee said...

He tries...& yes, we did have fun. The holidays are so different in Mexico.

Chef E said...

That soup looks good, and I have found tamales are decent here, but they have no chili con carne topping, only this ranchero sauce that if you added chocolate it would really be mole...yi yi yi

Merry Christmas!

Chef E said...

Oh and you sparked a memory, there used to be a restaurant in Texas that made beer cheese soup, and was it was on the side of the hill as you drove through dallas?

Reeni said...

The cheese soup looks so delicious and comforting, and is much needed here to keep warm.Gorgeous pictures!