Caldo de Lalos

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Its been a long time since I posted. I’ll give a couple introductions/background/directions in this post incase you are new to reading here. As always if you want the recipe simply scroll all the way down until you see the ingredient list. Anything I feel is worth knowing about the recipe/cooking process etc. I’ll include in the instructions or *notes section under the recipe.

 

Please forgive me. I no longer know how to use words. Not that I’ve ever been particularly stellar. I didn’t go to college. I checked out of school around age 16ish. But I have always loved writing. I love how it connects people. I love how it helps you process your own life. I love the actual process of writing. I love how that process evolves as you get older.

Writing used to mean a lovely cocktail or bottle of wine, a pack of cigarettes, and something inevitably yeast dough based rising or baking….with copious amounts of Earthbalance to smear all over it later.

 

I don’t really know what writing means to me now. I’m human and therefore silly. My labels have changed quite a bit since my early writing days. I’m no longer single. I’m no longer a dog mom. I no longer live alone. I no longer have to worry about looking like the perfect, vegan, yoga teacher I used to be. I get to be me now…still some of those things but not all of them.

I am a mom. I have an incredible baby named Billy. I’m married to a man but I’m queer. I live across the world from home, and have now settled in Brisbane, Australia. I still love cooking. I like social media to help spread ideas but can’t stand people, including some of my relatives, who use it as a platform to spread hate/fear. I don’t eat strictly anything anymore..or rather I don’t eat strictly any which way anymore…although there are many things I don’t eat….a story for another time though. I’m incredibly introverted. Hermit like. However I was raised by a wonderfully social mother and was given the gift of social gab and mingling when appropriate. I can do it, especially professionally…it just wears me out unless I’m with people I love and cherish. Recently I constantly feel badly that I’m moving away from my friends, aka my Australian family, and still haven’t quite gotten over the phrase “you are abandoning them.”

 

There. I still don’t quite know how to write. Boy does it feel good though.

 

This recipe I am bringing to you is straight outta my childhood. When I was younger my Papi worked for the family business importing and exporting Latin American foods. My grandfather saw that Mexican culture was on the rise and despite my family being Puerto Rican he put all his efforts into selling Mexican food. My Papi would take us to various restaurants that bought goods from him. Lalos was one of my favourite places. They have multiple locations and honestly I don’t remember the exact address of the one we frequented. But I remember the neighbourhood. Bakeries. Mexican restaurants. Payless shoes. Something unpolished and slightly gritty in a good way.

 

Every meal you had at Lalos started with Caldo. A chicken soup. Clear broth. Slightly crunchy veggies. A wedge of lime or lemon to squeeze and then toss in. It is that soup that inspired my meal the other night. Clean tasting. Simple. Filling. Delicious.

 

Caldo de Hayley Ann

serves 2

Ingredients:

~olive oil

~sea salt

~1 large onion, diced

~2 large carrots, diced

~2 cloves garlic, minced

~1 tablespoon cumin

~1.5 tablespoons paprika

~1/2 cup cilantro

~1/4 head cabbage, shredded

~1 large zucchini, chopped

~2 large white potatoes, chopped

~2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked

~5 small dates, diced or 2 large, diced

~water or vegetable broth*

~1 lemon juiced

~1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

~avocado & lime or lemon wedge for garnish (optional)

 

Directions:

1) Grab a large soup pot. Drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom of the pot, and turn the heat to medium. Add your onions. Sprinkle a small pinch of salt over them. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until translucent, stirring frequently to keep the colour even.

2) Add carrots, a small pinch of salt, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.**

3) Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and cilantro. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant stirring frequently.

4) Add cabbage and cook for 5 minutes.

5) Add zucchini, garbanzo beans, potatoes, dates, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and 1 tsp sea salt. Add water or broth until you fully submerge the all the ingredients. When cooking you can always add more water/broth if too much evaporates. Bring soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

6) Simmer soup for 15-30 minutes. To speed up cooking place a top on your pot. If the vegetables are no longer fully submerged in broth/water add more water/broth until they are. Once the veggies are perfectly cooked taste the broth. Add more sea salt if desired and serve fresh with a lil avocado and a wedge of lemon.

*Note: I used water not vegetable broth. When using vegetable broth either make it homemade or splurge the extra couple dollars if you can to get good quality fresh broth. Normally you can buy delicious clear veggie broth quite affordably from your local Vietnamese restaurant.

**Note: If the bottom of the pot gets too brown/black use a little water to deglaze the pot. Just be sure all water has evaporated before you move onto the next step in the recipe or add a little more oil if the veggies look a tad dry.

 

Much Luv, Laters

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