The Recipe - Guatemalan Chicken and Vegetable Soup

As E., from a village near Uspantan, Guatemala, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, Maine, in September 2015

Serves: 8-10
Cooking time: 1-2 hours

1 large whole free range chicken, cut into 2-3inch, bone-in pieces
enough water to cover the chicken by 3-4 inches
3 Tbsp salt
6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 chayote squash, peeled and quartered
2 tomatoes, quartered + 2 whole tomatoes
1 lb. carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 3" segments
4 culantro leaves (he called it samate) or small handful cilantro leaves, rough chopped
small bunch worth of mint leaves, rough chopped
small bunch worth of parsley leaves, rough chopped
2 Tbsp chicken bouillion + 1 Tbsp
2 hot chili peppers
1 lime
freshly made tortillas

In a large pot cover the chicken pieces with water by 3-4 inches, add salt, 2 Tbsp chicken bouillon and boil until chicken is cooked (opaque throughout). Then add potatoes, squash, carrots, and tomatoes.

While soup is cooking, in a separate pot boil two whole tomatoes and 2 whole fresh chili peppers until the chili peppers are soft. Peel skin off tomatoes, rough chop chili peppers into chunks and mash the tomatoes and peppers together in a mortal and pestle.

When vegetables in the soup are tender, add chopped herbs. Taste, add 1 Tbsp bouillon to enhance flavor if you like. Serve bowls of soup with a basket of thick tortillas, a bowl of lime wedges, and a bowl of the chili-tomato mash for guests to add to their soup as desired.

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2015