Tag Archives: Soup

Higadito, Oaxaca Scrambled Egg Soup — Vegetarian Recipe

A traditional fiesta breakfast dish here in Oaxaca, Mexico is called Higadito — scrambled egg soup. It is always served at banquet breakfasts for weddings, baptisms, birthday parties and any other big family celebration. On Sundays, when I go to the Tlacolula Market and have lunch at Comedor Mary, it is a staple on the menu. (If you are here for the Oaxaca Film Festival, today is market day.)

MushroomEggSoupTraditionally in Oaxaca, the base is chicken soup with bits of chicken mixed into the scrambled egg. It is flavored with salt, chiles, onion and garlic.

Sound familiar? A variation of egg drop soup, perhaps.

Last week I was having breakfast with my friend Janet at Boulanc, the European-style bakery on Calle Porfirio Diaz (between Morelos and Matamoros), when a woman from the campo walked in carrying a big bag of wild mushrooms, offering them for sale.

The wild mushrooms here are called hongos and are different from cultivated mushrooms, called champiñones. The bag she was carrying was huge and she was selling a pint size container for 20 pesos, three for 50 pesos. At the current exchange rate 50 pesos equals about $3 USD. (It’s a very good time to visit Mexico!) So, I loaded up with the idea I’d figure out what to do with them. And, I did.

Vegetarian Wild Mushroom-Garbanzo Scrambled Egg Soup

  • Soak 1-2 pints of whole, small wild mushrooms in warm water for 10 minutes. Rinse.
  • Put into 4 qt. saucepan, cover with 6 cups water, bring to simmer.
  • Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes until mushrooms are soft.
  • In a separate bowl, add 1/2 c. roasted, ground garbanzo bean flour to 1-2 c. water. Stir until dissolved. Add to mushroom water.
  • Bring back to simmer.
  • In a frying pan, sautée 1 medium size onion, chopped, 4 cloves of garlic, chopped in 3 T. olive oil until glazed
  • Scramble 4-6 eggs in onion-garlic mix, adding oil as needed.
  • Add mixture to soup.
  • The garbanzo bean paste will thicken as it cooks. Add water for the consistency you prefer.
  • Season to taste with sea salt and Chile Pasilla paste.
  • Serve hot with tortillas or crusty whole grain bread.

Optional: I had a lot of matzo leftover from Passover, so I crumbled one whole cracker into the soup to thicken it. Mexican-Jewish Food Fusion.  You could use crispy tortillas, too. Do you know about restaurant Toloache?

Enjoy! Buen provecho!

Wild Blue Hongos from Estado de Mexico

Wild Blue Hongos from Estado de Mexico

Corn and Comida at the Casa del Campo, San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya, Oaxaca

Angelica Guzman is a farmer entrepreneur.  Not only is she a great cook.  She works the fields to raise crops — garlic, squash, corn, beans — that feed minions. Plus, she houses Mexican students who come to a Tlacochahuaya bilingual university for teacher preparation.

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Tia Sofia with Angelica (r)

Tia Sofia with Angelica (r)

After our morning with her son Moises Garcia Guzman at the Tlacochahuaya church, we walk to the house in the fields where Angelica prepares comida (lunch) for us.  Moises reminds me that water is scarce.  It is summer, the rainy season. The milpas is planted, but there has been little rain.  In some fields, yellowing corn stalks, like flags, wave in the breeze.  Federal permits to dig a well are expensive. The government believes crops are thirstier than people.

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At Angelica’s Casa del Campo there is a well and the corn stalks are young summer green.  The cobs will mature for November harvest to feed people and animals.

Moises explains that the organic corn planted in this valley adapts to weather conditions. The grain may not be as big if there is not much rain, but there will still be a crop.  Not like genetically modified grain which depends on commercial fertilizer and large-scale sophisticated irrigation systems a la Monsanto which the valley farmers resist.

Comida is the biggest meal of the day, usually taken between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the afternoon.  Today, our menu is a traditional Oaxaca repast.

First, the horchata, adorned with walnuts, cubes of cantalope melon, and tuna (the red fruit of the nopal cactus).


Then, a botano (snack) of fresh off-the-comal corn tortillas that we fill with chapulines.  Click on chapulines to see what we are eating!

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Next comes the quesadillas al comal stuffed with squash blossoms and quesillo.

Quesdilla hands

If that wasn’t enough, Angelica brings us platters of grilled tasajo — thin-sliced, seasoned and grilled beef, and beef chorizo.

Beef Chorizo

And, then, the dish from the campo that all Oaxacans love — Sopa de Guias (gee-ahs).   Sopa de Guias, sometimes called squash vine soup, is a vegetable stew of squash, squash blossoms, the tender new green shoots of squash before it fruits, and the squash plant greens, with an ear of corn cooked in the broth.  It is delicious.


It was all I could do to waddle after giving thanks and saying goodbye late in the afternoon.  Eating and visiting in Oaxaca is an all-day affair. 

Recipe: Happy Thanksgiving Norma’s Mexican Yellow Bean Soup

This week I went to my local Mexican market in Pittsboro, NC in search of dried yellow beans to create another batch of soup.  They store them in a bin and sell them by the pound.  I love their color and texture.  (Beans were originally cultivated in both Mexico and the Andes.)  Yellow beans are a staple in Mexico along with black, red, and pinto beans plus about fourteen other varieties.  The soup pot is on the stove ready and waiting for Thanksgiving Dinner.  This is a rich, deep golden soup that goes with all the autumn colors of the season and your Thanksgiving table.  Viva Mexico for giving us beans!

Norma’s Mexican Yellow Bean Soup

  • 2 C. dried yellow beans from your local Mexican market
  • 4-6  large carrots, peeled, cut into 2″ slices
  • 2  large turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 4 T. chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1 medium white onion or 1/2 large onion
  • 4 whole cloves of garlic, peel on
  • 1 C. dried peppers, a mix of bell, poblano and ancho
  • 1 T. coarse sea salt
  • Water
Equipment Needed:
  • 6 quart stock pot
  • Slotted spoon
  • Blender
  • Measuring spoons and cups
1.  Preparing the Beans:  Rinse and clean the dried beans.  Bring 4 C. water to a boil. Add beans  to the boiling water. Cook until the water returns to the boil.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Rinse out stock pot.  Return parboiled beans to the pot.  Set aside.
2.  Onion and garlic:  On a comal (thin griddle) or in a wok, grill the onions and garlic over medium high heat until slightly blackened and seared.  They are done when the juices begin to flow on the onion and the garlic inside its husk will be softened.   Husk the garlic — it will slide right off.  Put the whole, peeled clove into the stock pot with the beans.  Add the onion to the stockpot.
3.  Carrots, Turnips, Parsley, Peppers: Add the carrots, turnips and parsley to the stockpot.  Crumble the peppers and add them to the stockpot.
4.  Add 6-8 C. cold water to stockpot to cover the bean mixture.  Add sea salt and stir.  Bring to a simmer, cover and continue to cook until beans are soft.  Check every 15-30 minutes for doneness.
5.  With a large slotted spoon, remove all the carrots, turnips, onion and garlic to a blender (do not use a food processor).   Remove about 3/4 of the beans and add them to the food processor.  I have left about 25% of the beans whole in the pot to add texture to the soup.
6.  Add enough water to the blender to cover the mixture.  Use the PUREE setting and puree until the mixture is smooth.   [Your stock pot should have some beans in it along with the cooking broth.]  Add the puree mixture to the remaining beans and broth in the pot and stir well.  Add additional water to bring the soup to the thickness you desire.  Bring to simmer.
7.  Correct the Seasoning:  Taste. Add additional salt if needed.  You may also choose to add some cayenne pepper (careful, not too much), starting with 1/4 t. to give the soup more punch.
Stephen’s Grandmother’s Spoon stirring the pot.  Three generations of cooking.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving.  I’ll be continuing to post more Day of the Dead Photography Expedition photos tomorrow, since I don’t participate in Black Friday.
All my best, Norma

Soup Kitchen With a Bite: Vegetarian Leek and Potato Soup

Friends are coming to dinner tonight.  The pond is frozen and it’s a chilly 23 degrees in North Carolina.  In four weeks, I’ll be back in Oaxaca.  Meantime, it’s supposed to snow on Tuesday!  I wanted to prepare a delicious, healthy, warming soup tonight to serve in mugs, no spoons needed, as a first course while we sit in front of the fire, sip wine and catch up.

I looked around the kitchen and in the mud room.  Stephen has stored the organic Yukon Gold potatoes he dug up in the fall in a galvanized bin tucked under the laundry tub.  There, I found the last of them.  Along with the potatoes I had two aging leeks.  From that, I went to the cutting block.

Norma's Spicy Leek & Potato Soup: Total Vegetarian!

The potatoes add body; the carrots add color; the garlic and leeks add a savory goodness; the cayenne and turmeric add bite; the honey adds sweetness.  Enjoy!


6 small white potatoes, skins on, cleaned and boiled whole until soft

2 medium leeks, cleaned, diced

3 carrots, peeled, thin sliced

4 garlic cloves, peeled, whole

1/4 c. olive oil (EVOO)

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. red cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. dried basil (we grow ours in summer, dry it and store it)

1/4 c. honey

6 cups water

Add olive oil to a 4 quart stainless steel or anodized aluminum sauce pan and heat until hot.  Add garlic, leeks and carrots.  Sautee until tender on medium heat until soft and glazed, stirring periodically so that veggies cook evenly.  Add whole cooked potatoes and stir.  Add 2 cups of water to the mixture and stir to deglaze the pan.  Put all ingredients into a food processor.  Add salt, pepper, herbs and spices.  Process on high heat until smooth.  Add honey.  Process for 30 seconds.  Add water slowly to thin to the consistency of heavy cream.  Taste.  Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Serves 6.


Soup Kitchen: Mexican Sopa Verde — Spicy Cilantro Vegetable Soup

This vegan soup is like drinking your vegetables.

It’s a spicy broth flavored with garlic, lemon and cilantro with a few more things from the veggie bin thrown in for good measure.

It’s still chilly here in North Carolina and it’s five more weeks until I get back to Oaxaca.  What draws me closer is the memory of those rich, hearty broths that I love.  As you can tell, these days my Soup Kitchen is overflowing.  This is because we are the beneficiaries of a bounty of fresh vegetables and I’m trying to figure out what to do with them.  Soup is one of the best solutions.  A healthy, low-cal, and easy to make and enjoy tonic–sippable morning, noon and night.

This week, we got a lot of little baby organic broccolini, which I par boiled, laid out on cookie sheets, froze, then transferred into freezer bags.  I kept the water and used it as the beginning of the soup stock.   This version is both vegetarian and vegan.  I use only organic vegetables!

Sometimes, I think I should be calling this the “Leftovers Kitchen.”

Sopa Verde Vegetariana -- Spicy Cilantro Soup


5 quarts water

4 ribs of celery, 1/2″ cuts

1 bunch cilantro, washed, leaves and stalks

1 or 2 carrots

2 small rutabagas or 3 turnips, peeled and quartered

3 green cabbage leaves or 1 baby bok choy

1 small leek or 1 small onion or 4-5 scallions

4 large garlic cloves, peeled, whole

Juice of 1/2 large lemon or more to taste

2 t. salt or more to taste

1 t. ground red cayenne pepper


Bring water to a boil.  Turn heat down to simmer.  Add all the vegetables, cilantro and garlic.  Simmer over medium-low heat until veggies are very limp.  I simmered these on the stove for a good hour.

Remove veggies with a slotted spoon to the bowl of your food processor.  Process on high until completely pureed.  Add fresh squeeze lemon juice.  Process again.  Pour puree back into soup stock.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir.  Taste.  Add more salt and pepper if you prefer.

Optional:  Add cooked whole wheat macaroni for a chunkier soup.  Or you can add leftover chopped chicken, ham or fish pieces, too.  I like the broth version.  Very soothing.