On December 21 we took a trip up the Rio Dulce and then transferred by car to Quirigua, one of the most important Mayan ruins. We stood before the smoldering remnants of a sacrificial fire, which smelled like burnt chicken. Much earlier in the morning just after midnight thousands had gathered to wait for the end of the world…not really! Mayans were celebrating the end of the calendar, not the end of the world. On our way back to our boat we stopped for lunch and I had Mayan soup, sort of a version of tortilla soup. Guessing ingredients and proportions,(plus adding ingredients of my own) this my version. Perfect for reentry into the Napa Valley and the beginning of 2013.
6 cups tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup green pepper, like pasilla, chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup queso fresco, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 corn tortilla, cut into matchstick sized slices and fried until crispy
1. Put the tomatoes in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. In a large pot, saute onion, garlic and pepper until soft.
3. Add the tomatoes, cumin, chicken,chicken stock, corn and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
4. Put some queso fresco cubes in each bowl and ladle the soup over the cheese.
5. Add avocado cubes to each bowl.
6. Finally, garnish with minced cilantro and crispy tortilla sticks.