HG’s mom served an exuberant bowl of chicken soup. The HG maternal soup contained a rich, homemade broth shimmering with the velvet haze of chicken fat, chunks of boiled chicken, noodles, matzo balls and (sometimes) kasha — plus slices of boiled carrots and onions. With some thick slices of challah this dish sure beat the hell out of the empty tummy blues.
Well, that soup met its match today at one of HG’s favorite dining spots, The Sopapilla Factory in Pojauque, NM. The manager told HG that the soup on the menu was just like his Madre used to make. Called Caldo Tilapena, this mighty dish (served in a virtual caldron) contained chicken broth mightily enhanced by aromatic, smokey, hot chipotle peppers. There was rice, chick peas, zucchini, carrots and at least a pound of gently poached chicken breast. For crunch, it was topped with crisp lengths of fried yellow and blue corn tortillas. And, for a voluptuous and cooling gustatory counter-weight, a half dozen slices of avocado were served alongside. No challah. But, a basket of warm sopapillas (Mexican popovers) with butter and honey. Ah, Mothers — whether Yiddishe or Hispanic — always know best.