Dec 07

Traditional Mexican Foods – Cheese Soup From Oaxaca

Potato and cheese cream soupThe following recipe combines a number of typical Mexican ingredients to make a tasty soup. The potatoes, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and parsley add nutrients, the broth, and chilies give the soup flavor and the queso Oaxaca makes it creamy and really luxurious. You can use fresh or canned chilies in this recipe.

If you cannot find poblano chilies, which are mild-tasting, dark green ones, you can substitute bell peppers and add a tablespoon of Tabasco to the soup to make up for losing the piquancy of the poblanos.

What Is Queso Oaxaca?

This cheese is white and semi-hard. It is like non-aged Monterey Jack but its stringiness is like mozzarella so of you cannot find Oaxaca cheese, substitute mozzarella instead.

Making queso Oaxaca is tricky and the cheese is stretched into ribbons and then rolled up like yarn. Mozzarella is made using a similar process. Many authentic Mexican food recipes feature this ingredient and it is often added to empanadas and quesadillas, sometimes along with squash flowers or another ingredient.

You can get this cheese in different shapes, including balls and bricks. In the following soup recipe you need to cut it into cubes so buy whichever shape you can get. Using this cheese in soup might be an unusual idea to you, but it does improve both the flavor and the texture, and it works well with the other ingredients. Also, because this Oaxaca recipe contains so many chilies, the creaminess of the queso Oaxaca provides a mouth-cooling contrast which works well.

What You Need:

  • 10 poblano chilies
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth granules
  • 1 lb diced Oaxaca cheese
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 peeled tomatoes
  • 6 peeled, diced potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

How To Make It:

If you are using fresh poblanos, roast them on a hot griddle until the skins are brown and blistered. Put the chilies in a plastic bag for ten minutes, then peel them and take out the seeds and veins. If they are canned, cut them lengthwise and take out the seeds. Rinse the chilies and then cut them into long strips.

Puree the tomatoes in the blender and then sieve them to get rid of the seeds. Fry the garlic and onion in a large pot until the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes and cook for four minutes. Add four cups of the water, the salt, parsley, baking soda and broth granules. If you think the soup needs more water, go ahead and add another cup or two.

Bring the milk to a boil in another pan and then take off the skin if one forms. Add it to the tomato mixture, along with a third of the cheese. Let it melt. Divide the remaining cheese between six soup bowls and pour the soup over the top.


Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network, a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL:

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