On rare cold days in South Texas, everyone I know
looks for the best bowl of caldo (soup) they can find.
Although the ingredients for both caldo de pollo
caldo de res
are very humble,
creating either is an art.
Trust me- I have tried and failed.
I wish I could include some sort of scratch and sniff/taste tab
here to demonstrate exactly what I mean.
There is a distinctive flavor to caldo that I imagine
is a result of the cook and years of experience.
Along the way, I have settled
on a derivation that has these important ingredients:
If you are making caldo ,
purchase the green topped Knorr’s caldo de pollo
and the red topped caldo de tomate bouillion.
Then you must have this.
Note: to really gain the flavor that peppercorn, comino, and garlic pods
have to offer, you must use a molcajete and grind the spices.
I haven’t done that yet, which may be the problem.
Here is the recipe for the soup I prepared today.
brown a package of boneless stew meat and a large chopped onion
in about 2 tablespoons of oil
sprinkle the beef with your favorite spices
(I used Nature’s Seasoning and TexJoy)
chopped carrots and potatoes (large chunks)
stir for a moment until the denser vegetables have cooked a bit
add a large can of whole tomatoes
and a can of diced tomatoes
add sliced Mexican squash ,
a small package of frozen corn kernels
and enough water to create soup
at this point I stirred in a heaping tablespoon (or two) of Knorr’s
caldo de tomate
I then sprinkled in ground cumin (comino) to taste
about five minutes before serving, I sprinkled in a handful of
chopped cilantro leaves