I finally got my very fist peek of marigolds at the supermarket today. This can only mean that one of my favorite holidays is only a couple of weeks away: Dia de Muertos.
During my upbringing in Mexico, Dia de Muertos customarily began at dawn with first pick of cempazuchitls and gladiolas to adorn my grandparents graves. Before arranging the flowers on the graves, the entire family had to take part in sweeping and cleaning the tombstones and raking off dried leaves and twigs surrounding the graves. Once the area was clean, the graves were decorated with mounds and mounds of flowers, candles and offerings. The cemetery swarmed with visiting crowds and flowers, lots and lots of colorful clusters of flowers of all varieties and colors. Including that intense marigold hue.
When the sun set, the first chilly breeze of the season flickered the votive candles that lit up beautiful ofrendas. Incense permeated the air and acoustic guitar music filled us with a comfortable feeling of family and most prominent, a feeling of love.
From what I remember, Dia de Muertos marked the beginning of cold evenings. The next four months would be nothing but tamales, champurrados and warm soups in my house. The kitchen always smelled of spices and steamed masa. An aroma I could never forget.
Our evenings just began to cool and I saw marigolds today. Nothing could make more happy than to continue my family’s tradition of our Dia de Muertos with a warm bowl of poblano and corn soup. Topped with delicious Cacique Panela cheese and a swirl of crema agria, dinnertime became an evening of reminiscing and altar building at our house.
Enjoy this flavorful soup with your family and make a special evening of it at first sight of a chilly autumn evening, just as we did. May your soup be delicious and your bellies warm this November. !Provecho!
Poblano and Corn Soup with Panela Cheese and Crema Agria
3 Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup canned yellow corn
1/2 tablespoon chicken flavor bouillon
4 Poblano chiles, roasted, deveined and seeded, chopped in strips
6 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
1/2 cup Cacique Crema Agria Mexicana
1 (10-ounce) package Cacique Queso Panela
fresh cracked black pepper
In a blender container, combine tomatoes with water. Puree until smooth. Run tomato mixture through a strainer and set aside.
In a large stock pot, heat oil over low-medium heat, add onion and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in corn and cook for another minute and add pureed tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add bouillon, chile strips, and chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes covered. Remove from heat and stir in cream.
Serve and garnish with Panela cheese cubes and a sprinkle of fresh cracked black pepper.
For more recipes to celebrate your Dia de Muertos with, visit: http://diadelosmuertosrecipes.