One of the most basic Chiltepin dishes known, this recipe is prepared only in the state of Sinaloa, where the Chiltepins produce fruits all year long. This simple soup is served in mountain villages, and everyone makes his own in a soup bowl.
Like most stews, this one takes a while to cook, about 4 hours. It is interesting because it contains a number of pre-Columbian ingredients, namely Chiltepins, corn, squash, potatoes, and tepary beans. The spicy heat can be adjusted by adding or subtracting Chiltepins.
There are as many versions of chorizo in Mexico and the Southwest as there are of enchiladas. Essentially, it is a hot and spicy sausage that is served with eggs for breakfast, as a filling for tostados or tacos, or mixed with refried beans. This Sonoran version is spicier than most, and, in addition, it is served crumbled rather than being formed into patties.
This novelty was first served in 1988 for the symposium on wild chiles at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and at the Fiesta de los Chiles at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. It is very hot in the proportions given (despite the tendency of ice cream to cut the heat), so you may want to reduce the quantity of Chiltepins.
In the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, fresh green and red Chiltepins are preserved in vinegar and salt. They are used as a condiment or are popped into the mouth when eating any food--except, perhaps, oatmeal. Since fresh Chiltepins are not available in the U.S., adventurous cooks and gardeners must grow their own. The tiny chiles are preserved in three layers in a 1 pint, sterilized jar.
This recipe is extremely hot and very typical of Sonora, where people make salsa casera with 2 to 3 cups of chiltepins! Serve this with a mild fish or poultry entree. Feel free to reduce the amount of chiltepins, or to substitute 3 tablespoons chipotle powder for a milder, smokier flavor..
Nitir kebe is Ethiopian spiced butter that is an ingredient in many that country’s dishes. It certainly gives an exotic twist to a summertime favorite in the U.S.A. Be sure to buy ears with some of the stalk attached for a great handle. The spiced butter freezes easily.
Using a commercial salsa as a base for this soup makes it quick and easy to prepare as well as allowing you to choose your spice level from mild to wild. The heat of the salsa will intensify, so I won’’t use anything that is too hot or a salsa that is habanero based. This simple soup can also be expanded to a more hearty soup, with the addition of ingredients such as cooked pinto or black beans, chicken or turkey, or even whole kernel corn. Add these to the soup after it has been pureed. For a taste of green chile, chicken enchiladas in a soup bowl, just use green chile salsa and chicken.