Pati Jinich Oyster Soup
Pati Jinich is a Mexican chef and cookbook author. Her book, Pati’s Mexican Table, won three James Beard Awards. In it, she offers recipes inspired by her travels in Mexico. She visits restaurants, home cooks, and farmers in Sinaloa. And she takes a freshwater fishing trip to sample oysters.
One of her favorite dishes is an oyster soup that features plump, succulent oysters. It has a rich, spicy broth with a hint of smokiness. The recipe is from her cookbook Treasures of the Mexican Table. You can make it as thin or thick as you like. When the soup is ready to serve, add some croutons to each bowl.
To make the soup, start with a good base. Rinse the pot you’ll be using. If you don’t have a smoky pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced garlic to the pan, and cook for seven or eight minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Next, add leeks, celery, and carrots to the pot. Mix well. After three or four minutes, stir in chipotles in adobo. Cook for another seven or eight minutes. Finally, add a chicken broth. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Continue to stir for about five minutes.
Once the broth is simmering, add two eggs to the mixture. Stir for a few minutes, and remove the soup from the heat. This step is important because it will give the soup a silky texture.
To add a bit of a kick to the soup, try a chile de arbol, which is a dried chile that has a hot and feisty flavor. There are many variations of the chile, but you can usually find a milder version at your local Mexican store.
The other main ingredient in this soup is cheese. While you might not think of cheese when you think of a traditional Mexican dish, it makes a huge difference in this recipe. A little cheese goes a long way. Adding cheese transforms the soup into a queso soup, which is similar to onion soup.
Besides the cheese, you’ll also want to add anchos, which are a bittersweet spice. These are common in Mexican cuisine, as are dried chiles. But if you can’t find either of these ingredients, you can use other fresh herbs, such as scallions, spring onions, or epazote.
This is a great example of a soup that you can make up ahead of time. You can also reheat leftovers, if you plan to eat the soup later. Make sure to taste the soup for salt.
The recipe is easy to follow, and the end result is a creamy soup with a delicious, smoky flavor. Serve the soup with a squeeze of lime and a few croutons. For an extra touch, garnish the top with more scallions or epazote. Enjoy!
You can even prepare the soup in bulk, and refrigerate it for up to three days before serving. Or, you can puree it in batches.