The marqui’s soup recipe

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I first tasted this soup on a trip to Mexico when our family was en route to Chichén Itzá. We stopped for lunch in a little colonial town called Valladolid. The restaurant where we ate was in a hotel that, in its past life, had been the grand home of an actual marquis and was beautifully appointed with gorgeous antiques and ornate portraits. Always the soup lover, I ordered this as my first course, and I was completely blown away by the complexity of flavors in the seemingly simple soup. The beauty of the soup lies in its broth, so this is not one of those “canned broth” soups. It really will be worth your while to make your own caldo (broth) for it.

  • Yield: 12 cups (without the noodles; 6 lunchtime servings or 8 to 10 first-course or 8 to 10 first)
  • Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • Homemade Chicken Broth
  • 8 stalks celery (a mix of large outer and pale inner stalks), cut on the diagonal into ½-inch slices (about 3 cups)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into ½-inch slices (about 2 cups)
  • Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound fideos, other fine egg noodles, or angel hair pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
How to Make It
  1. Make the broth and strain it. Pluck out the chicken pieces and set them aside until they are cool enough to handle. When they are cool, pull off the skin and discard it, then coarsely shred the meat, getting rid of any fat, gristle, etc., as you go. Set the chicken aside. The broth can be made and the chicken shredded up to 2 days ahead; refrigerate them separately.
  2. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the strained broth, celery, and carrots to a boil in a large pot. Taste the broth and add salt and pepper if necessary. Adjust the heat so the broth is simmering and cook until the vegetables are tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken. While the vegetables cook, stir the fideos into the boiling water and cook until tender but with a little bit of bite, about 4 minutes. Drain the noodles and put them in a bowl. Add the olive oil and toss well.
  4. When the vegetables are tender, stir the avocado, cilantro, and lime juice into the soup. Bring the pot of soup to the table, along with the noodles and a bowl of the lime wedges. Spoon some of the noodles into each bowl and ladle the soup over them. (Stir the soup with the ladle as you fill each bowl so you’re sure to get a good mix of ingredients into each bowl.) Pass the lime wedges separately.
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