1. Wow, Amanda, what an intriguing (to me) post and recipe. I really enjoyed reading your text about being attracted to opposite things at the same time; of course I feel the same way in many different situations. I love how you linked this idea to the soup; so beautiful. The soup is made of ingredients I will never have a chance of getting my hands on in France, so I can only admire the photos, and try to imagine what it might taste like. So inspiring!

    • Thanks so much, Darya. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you. This was a difficult post to write because it’s not always easy to admit these things, but l like to use food as a lens for viewing the world. I think you and I are at an age where these opposite pulls are the strongest. I do like the idea that they’re natural and we can harbor them all simultaneously. I do feel bad that a lot of the European blogging community wont get to try this, but it’ll be an excuse to host you! I hope you’re well. We’ll chat soon! xo

  2. Very interesting post. I have never had this soup in the US or during my several trips to Mexico.This would be a totally new experience. I am sure I could purchase all the ingredients except for the cactus to make this soup, so green peppers is a good suggestion. Something different for the menu.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever seen fresh nopales sold in this part of the world–and to be honest, unless they were already despined, I’d have to be convinced they were worth the effort. I was looking for some shots of the prep, but didn’t see any, so I’m curious what you used. Did you go with the peppers or use canned (which I’ve used and enjoyed, but they taste like canned string beans to me)? Gorgeous photos, as always. Ken

    • Thanks, Ken. I went with the jar because it was closer, but they sell them fresh down on Essex street de-spined. My issue is the same as yours with the jar, which is why I suggest making it with bell peppers. The ones in the jar have a briney taste that threw off the flavor just a bit. It was still delicious with the chorizo and the tomatillos which were the real star of the show, but the nopales need to be fresh if you can find them. I totally agree. See: http://www.herdeztraditions.com/dona-maria-products/dona-maria-nopalitos/

      In other news, I wanted to tell you that I bought a Bianchi bike! I’m very excited about it! It’s a 2007, but I love it.

      • We leave for the Dordogne in a week and a half, and I’ve discovered it’s so full of prehistoric caves that I may forgo biking altogether just to get my fill of neolithic man. Sardinia is still coming in the fall. Enjoy the Bianchi. Ken

  4. That sounds great – I wish I could get hold of tomatillos. I was talking to a Mexican friend about cooking a traditional dinner soon – I’ll have to ask her… 🙂

    • Thanks, Mimi. I had you in mind while making it because I think other than those who live in nyc you would be the only one who could find these ingredients.

    • Very cool! Are you in the Southwest? It’s the only place aside from Latin grocery stores where people are finding these. It’s a good stew. Thanks so much for your comment.

  5. Beautiful soup! I don’t think I can get the ingredients in Spain (except for chorizo, of course!), but you inspired me to look for the more decent substitutions I can find 🙂

  6. This is a masterpiece. I have been wanting to try both cactus paddles and yucca root! We were marveling over the cactus paddles last week at our Asian Supermarket. And I absolutely love tomatillos. Amanda, you’ve gone and done it again. I’m making this over the weekend. My hub loves Mezcal so I’ll have to pick some up to go with it. Your photographs in this post are so vibrant and stunning. I’ll just sit here and stare at your post for the rest of the day… 🙂

    • You are so sweet! Your comments really make my day. Yes, you can get them at the Asian or Latin supermarket. I wish I had time to get there, it would have made this soup perfect. Mezcal is delish! I usually have it in mixed drinks though, with jalapeno. I think you’ll like this. I actually KNEW you would like this one because of your tastes. And I too am obsessed with the cookies. I’ve got one more good one for you too, coming up! xox Thanks for making my day 🙂

      • I keep thinking about this soup and I had a thought about subbing the yucca (if I can’t find it) with turnips. I use turnips in my spicy chicken soup instead of starchy potatoes and really like it. What do you think?

        • I think that’s a great idea. I substitute the potatoes in everything because my husband is actually allergic to them. Strange, I know, but true as evidenced by the number of times I’ve almost accidentally killed him. I use turnips as a sub ALL the time for potatoes, so yes! They’re a little sweet, but not overwhelming and have great texture. I hope you can find a yucca though. Your spicy chicken soup sounds delish. I’m kind of in the mood for some right now.

  7. Very nice description.
    But looks a little bland does it not, keeping in mind the range of stuff you have put in. What could you do to brighten up the looks of that soup?

    • I kind of life the muddy color, but I’d you wanted to dress it up you might add red pepper flakes, Spanish smoked paprika and cilantro and serve it in smaller bowls. I like the rustic feel. But it certainly is flavorful dressed up or down.

  8. Wonderful soup! And equally wonderful photos. Actually, I had to quiz what the red things were. Chorizo, off course! Anyway, I’ll just have to imagine how this must taste. As I’ve only ever seen tomatillos. Seriously, I was like the proverbial kid in a large TexMex supermarket in Houston. I found it all so exciting – doubt my friends did.

    Must try and remember not to leave comments and grill pitta bread at the same time. Luckily the only alarm that went off is in my flat – not the entire building! Oops.

    • Lol!! Careful, johnny! I can imagine you in Texas marveling at all the Mexican ingredients. It really is exciting. Thanks so much. I’d send you some of it would keep.

  9. I made the soup! It is wonderful. I really enjoyed both the consistency and tanginess the tomatillos added. The darn yucca root I bought was inedible! It was bruised and very fibrous so I ended up tossing it in the compost and using potatoes. I actually bought all the ingredients last Thursday and could never get myself over to the Asian supermarket for the cactus, so, I ended up buying them in a jar and it was very good. However… I’m going to make it again. Next time using fresh nopales. I really think the chorizo had a starring role in this soup! This was delicious and very unique Amanda. We loved it.

    • I absolutely love when you make my recipes! The chorizo was key. I had the same experience with my yacon and ate around it. The nopales are kind of cool even from the jar. The whole thing is unique and totally worth making. You seriously make my day when I get your feedback. So glad you liked it. You’ll have to tell me how it goes the next time. I too plan to get to the Asian market where I’ve seen them fresh too. I’ll definititely incorporate this soup into the mix. You really do make my day. Xoxo

      • It’s mutual…you make my day with your comments! 🙂 It’s silly because our Asian Supermarket is right next to our baseball stadium and the three moments I had to spare to take a trip over there was a game going on. First the Yankees then the Rangers! And you’d better not go down there with the traffic. It’s so curious your yacon was the same. Have you ever peeled baby potatoes?! For crying out loud I had to switch into zen mode! Have a good week Amanda…

        • Haha! I’m a huge rangers (hockey) fan. So sad. Mets baseball. I think yucca and anything in that family goes bad really quickly if not stored right. I use yucca a lot because of the potato allergy. Yes I have peeled them. Im awful at it and usually give up! Have a great week.

  10. Ahhh tomatillos… be still, my heart! These are all of my favorite flavors and ingredients, as you probably know by now. (And Paula and I just had a long conversation about nopales and how we feel about their texture in various forms — I don’t think either of us has ever tried them in soup though!)

    • Oh man, you guys must try this soup! I love that you and I both had tomatillo recipes at the same time. This is seriously good stuff. If you have access to fresh nopales you must make this!

  11. this looks like something I would order at a restaurant and LOVE, but never attempt at home. But you make it look do-able. I actually bought a jar of nopales once, but have never dared used them, lol. Am assuming it would be easy enough to find fresh in Mexican markets?

    Enjoyed your look at opposites here. Yes, we all need a bit of chorizo oil in an otherwise cool life 🙂 And this phrase blew me away: ” Familiar and foreign. One cannot exist without the other. Sometimes one becomes the other and back again.” That’s deep! And so true… Almost mystical.

    • Thank you, Liz. I kind of think like that all the time. I love how how you rephrase it. ..a little chorizo oil. You can get fresh cactus at Asian and Latin markets. The jarred ones are good too but they’re usually pickled, which changes the flavor. I saw a pic of this on pinterest and had to make it. Thank you as always for your kind and encouraging comments. You have such a good energy. It makes me happy from afar.

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