Silky. Sassy. Sexy. I know these are not adjectives that are usually associated with food, but this sensational soup is no ordinary medley. It is a tribute to Mexico’s African heritage known as The Third Root, and this soup fully embodies each of those adjectives. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything like it.
The recipe is thanks to Pati Jinch, a former Mexican Policy Analyst and historian turns her focus to the culinary arts and explores the way Mexican foods have fused north and south of the border. Her latest cookbook Mexican Today – New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchen is a unique blend of modern Mexican food with regional and global influences.
Pati is the chef and host of the PBS TV series, Pati’s Mexican Table that is currently in its fifth season and has been nominated for 2 James Beard Awards and 2 Emmy Awards. She is a regular guest on NBC’s Today, ABC’s The Chew, CBS’s The Talk & NPR’s The Splendid Table.
I recently met Pati and sampled some of her recipes at Melissa’s Produce book signing luncheon. She is as delightful in person as she is on TV. Her passion for Mexican food is as contagious as her cookbook is inspiring.
We were treated to a Mexican meal fit for a king!
Potato & Poblano Rajas Salad (p. 54) & Simmered Shaved Corn w/Chiles & Epazote (p. 251)
Fast-Track Chicken Pibil (p. 214)
Pickled Onions & Cabbage (p. 119) & Tacos al Pastor (p. 138)
Tita Chelo’s Frosted Flakes Cookies (p. 271) & Everything In-The-Pantry Cookies (p.272)
Hearts of palm are easy to find in most grocery stores. All you need to do before you use them is drain them thoroughly and give them a quick rinse under cold water to remove any metallic flavor from the can. Let them drain for a few minutes before you slice them.
- ¼ cup canola or safflower oil I used olive oil)
- Kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder, chipotle chile powder, or paprika (or to taste)
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 12-inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 10 scallions (light green and white parts only) thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 (14-ounce) cans hearts of palm, drained, rinsed, and sliced
- 5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment or foil.
- In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, the chile powder or paprika, and pepper. Add the sweet potato and toss until thoroughly coated.
- Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet, taking care not to overcrowd. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping and turning them halfway through, until golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large heavy pot, heat the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and bubbling. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely softened, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium, add the hearts of palm, and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, until heated through. Add the broth and ½ teaspoon salt. Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- In batches, pour the soup into a blender and puree until completely smooth, holding down the lid of the blender with a towel to contain the pressure from the hot soup. Pour the soup back into the pot, stir, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Reheat if necessary before serving.
- Ladle the soup into individual bowls, spoon about ¼ cup sweet potatoes into the middle of each bowl, and sprinkle the chives around the sweet potatoes.
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 25 minutes
MAKE AHEAD: The soup, without the sweet potato cubes, can be made up to 4 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
I was fortunate to have my mother with me at this flavorful event.
She is a big fan of Melissa’s Produce. Not only is their produce wonderful, but their generosity to the food community and their families is beyond compare.
Special thanks to Chefs Toys for the Fajita making tools.
I won this fun kit in their social media photo contest. 🙂
“The best of Mexico’s food is made in home kitchens.” – Pati Jinich
With “Mexican Today” as your guide, I believe the best Mexican food can successfully be made in your kitchen.
…and then, she paused for thought.