Cooking Tips: Nicaraguan Sopa de Queso

since I'm still unemployed, beyond bored at home, I guess it's time to blog about random things that keep me busy like cooking, places to see or do in Miami, PR tips, and events. so I will make a 150% effort to blog in order to keep my mind off emails that could be a job opportunity offer, updating my LinkedIn or applying to one more job.

so today, Monday, I will start with a very late post. that should have been posted on March 5th, Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now, I am not a 100% practicing Catholic but I do enjoy some of our customs. One of them being, giving up meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 

When I called my mom, on Ash Wednesday, I was trying to have a conversation with her and kept hearing an annoying background noise. She eventually told me she was using the blender and in the process of making Sopa de Queso (Cheese Soup). Immediately, I wanted some too! Back home we enjoy sopa de queso (or seafood) on these days and I've never tried or seen my mom make it. So I asked her for the recipe and went off to the supermarket for a couple items.

Besides, asking my mom for the recipe, I also looked online and crossed-referenced her recipe with the following two:

Nicaragua en Mi Sazón, María Esther Lopez - Sopa de Queso
The Latin Kitchen - Sopa de Queso

Ingredients | Ingredientes:

- Red Bell Pepper | Chiltoma Roja
- Tomato | Tomate
- White Onion | Cebolla Blanca
- Tortilla Flour | Masa de Maíz
- Dry Cheese | Queso Seco
- Egg | Huevo
- Ground Achiote | Achiote en Polvo 
- Salt | Sal
- Garlic | Ajo
- Veggie Oil | Aceite Vegetal
- Whole Milk | Leche 
- Mint, Spearmint | Hierbabuena
- Water | Agua

Recommendations | Recomendaciones:

- Tortilla Flour. make sure not to buy the wrong flour. that it actually reads Corn/Tortilla flour. Example: Maseca brand.

Masa de Maíz. aseguranse que no sea la masa equivocada y que lea masa de Maiz/Tortilla.
Ejemplo: marca Maseca.

- Dry Cheese. I went to Presidente, a latino supermarket by my area and selected two dry cheeses from El Salvador & Guatemala since they did not have Nicaraguan. I used the cheese from El Salvador but it lacked saltiness therefore, I added more salt to the soup. If you do not have access to latin products, I've read you can use Parmesan.   

Queso Seco. Fui al supermercado, Presidente y compre dos quesos secos del Salvador y Guatemala ya que no había Nica. Al final, use el queso Salvadoreño, pero no era tan salado, al final nada mas agregue mas sal a la sopa. Si usted, no tiene acceso a productos latinos, he leído que puedes usar queso Parmesano.

My Experience

Like my mom, I just go with it and don't cook with measurements. In comparison to the links, I left the veggies in the boiling water till the very end because they added flavor. Once, I was about to serve, I did not serve the veggies.

Taste. I constantly taste my food and at the moments, something was off and it simply needed a little more salt and achiote.  

Use the Blender: Blend the egg, achiote, tomato, pepper, onion, cheese, salt and a cup of water. Once blended, mix it in with the flour.

Ingredients. I only used 1 red pepper, 4 small juicy tomatoes, 3/4 of a huge white onion, 1 huge brown egg, 4 cloves of garlic (not finely chopped), 3/4 lb of Salvadorian dry cheese, 3/4 cup of whole milk and the whole bunch of mint. 

Water. I don't remember how much water I used :/ but it was exactly enough for 4 bowl servings. I'm going to say, it was over a liter but as I was boiling the veggies in the water, it looked like too much and emptied it a bit.

The Donut Making Process takes patience and the last thing, I wanted to do was burn them. Therefore, heat them on low/medium.

No, I'm not going to explain how to make this soup - that's why I posted the links and the post is called Cooking Tips ;)

In all, I took my time, made a mess and it was finger-liking good! Prep Time was about 1.5 hours. Serve, dunk your donuts and add a little hot sauce.

Happy Easter!

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