Sopa de nopales (cactus soup)

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 tablespoon Olive or salad oil
1 \N Large onion,chopped
1 pounds Tomatillos*
6 cups Chicken broth,reg strength
1 pack Sliced cactus (33 oz)**
2 tablespoons Lime juice
2 tablespoons Fresh cilantro leaves,minced
2 ounces Panela/feta cheese,crumbled
\N \N Lime wedges (opt)

Cactus looks forbidding. Stripped of its prickly points, however, it is a mild-mannered vegetable with a slightly tart flavor. Look for easy-to-use canned cactus (sold as NOPALES or NOPALITOS) in supermarkets and Mexican groceries. ====================================================================== ===

* - husks removed, rinsed and coarsely chopped ** - packed in water, drained and rinsed. ====================================================================== ===

In a 4-5 quart pan over medium heat, stir oil and onion often until onion is golden, about 15 minutes. Add tomatillos; stir often just until soft, about 6 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in cactus, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook until hot. Ladle soup into a tureen. Offer cheese to add to taste. Accompany with lime wedges.

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