What happened after an explosion at the French cheese factory?

All that was left was de brie.

I have been craving Mexican flavors lately: cumin, cilantro, lime, spice, corn. I keep eating them and eating them, but it only seems to fuel, rather than cool, the obsession. I thought I would start making these flavor combinations at home, to see if I could hit all the tastes that I wanted, and maybe finish off the craving.

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I came across this recipe for sopas and knew I had to give it a try. It had everything I felt I had been craving. I decided to make it for lunch.

Now, when I decide to cook something, it’s usually a process, which is fine….because it usually relaxes me. But, when the house is full of people, and there’s stuff happening all over the place, it can get a bit stressful, rather than stress-relieving. (Which is how I usually like my cooking to be…)

Alas, not the most calm. But, I roasted, toasted, diced and chopped my way through it–and it was worth it.

I sat down to lunch with my mom (and the now empty house) and she was leery. My ‘I tired something new’ days can go one of three ways: ‘MMMM’, ‘Uhhhhhmmmm, needs something’, or ‘Oh…no.’

Luckily, this one was all about the ‘Mmmmmmmmmm.’ The sopas were It’s creamy, cool, and spicy. They are filling, delicious, and light. The salad is divine on its own, and the sopas are wonderful reheated with eggs and bacon.

The recipe calls for masa harina, which is a special flour used to make torillas. It does not really have a substitute, so be sure to try and find it. (I know it’s a bit difficult for me to track down in my town’s grocery stores, which drives me to distraction). But it is definitely worth the trouble.

I swapped the queso fresco out for goat cheese, since I a) couldn’t find any queso fresco in the store, and b) had goat cheese at home. It was a great swap. I would recommend it.

The original recipe said that it made enough for 2 people, 2 sopas per person. I followed the measurements exactly, and there was definitely enough for 3 or 4 people; with large servings. I don’t know, but I suspect that I have a biblical way with food–Meaning that when the recipe says enough for 2, I end up with enough for 6. I don’t get it. But, there you have it. I guess it depends on how hungry you are. I would say this recipe could easily feed 4.

Roasted Poblano and Quinoa Sopas
Adapted from Blue Apron
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1/4 c quinoa
1 poblano pepper
2 ounces goat cheese
1 avocado
1 bunch cilantro
1 lime
1/4 pound cherry tomatoes
1 c Masa Harina
13 ounces arugula

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  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  2. Wash and dry the fresh produce.
  3. Heat a small pot of salted water to boiling on high. Add the quinoa to the boiling water and cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
  4. While the quinoa cooks, place the poblano pepper on a sheet pan. Roast in the oven 9 to 11 minutes, or until the skin of the pepper is browned and blistered. Be sure to turn the pepper every few minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
    sopas 1
  5. When the poblano is cool enough to handle, carefully remove and discard the skin and seeds; finely chop the poblano. Set aside.
  6. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith (which will make it bitter).
  7. Mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest. Quarter the lime.
  8. Peel, pit and medium dice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning.
  9. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems.
  10. Quarter the cherry tomatoes lengthwise.
  11. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped poblano, masa harina, cooked quinoa, lime zest, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 cup of water to create a batter.sopas 3 Season with salt and pepper. Using wet hands, divide the batter into four to six patties.
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  12. In a large pan (nonstick and oven-safe), heat a thin layer of olive oil on medium until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a pinch of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, add the patties and cook, 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until browned, carefully flipping with a spatula.
    sopas 5sopas 7
  13. Transfer the pan of patties to the oven (if you don’t have an oven-safe pan, transfer the patties to an oiled sheet pan) and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the patties are cooked through and firm in the center.
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  14. While the patties bake, in a medium bowl, combine the arugula, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and half the goat cheese. Just before serving, add the juice of 1 lime wedge. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat.
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  15. Divide the baked patties and salad between plates and enjoy!
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