I first heard about Sonora as a kid when we would visit my mom’s family on the ranchos (farms) east of Mexicali, Baja California. “Sonora is the next state over from where we are,” they would say. As many kids do, I thought it was a different world.
Sonora is known for its ranching and for its coastline along the Sea of Cortez. As you can see on the symbols of their flag (see links below), beef and seafood are a big part of life in Sonora. Though this recipe doesn’t use beef or seafood, it does use something that requires many cows: cheese.
There are many variations to this recipe, but this one is simple and delicious.
SONORA: Sopa de Queso (Sonoran Cheese Soup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable
6 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium potatoes (about 12 – 16 ounces), peeled and diced
2-3 plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into ½ in dice
In a large saucepan, heat the butter and the oil over medium heat. Cook the green onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
Add the potatoes and tomatoes and stir well.
Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the broth, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Divide the cheese among four soup bowls. Pour the hot soup over the cheese and serve immediately.
NOTE: You can add 2-3 roasted, peeled and seeded green chiles along with potatoes and tomatoes. But that is up to you. I like the soup both ways.
Some links to learn more about Sonora:
Official Website of the State of Sonora, Mexico (in Spanish)