Arizona February 19, 2017
8 Arizona Soups And Stews That Are Perfect On A Cold Winter’s Day
We’re having a cold, wet weekend! I don’t know about you but this kind of weather gets me in the mood for a steaming bowl of comfort food. Sometimes chicken soup is nice but there’s nothing quite like a bowl of traditional Southwestern soups and stews. They’re the meals I grew up on and always remind me of a big, warm hug. A few of them you can only find here in the Southwest, which makes the dish even more satisfying. Let’s take a look at a few favorites.
1. Albondigas soup
This meatball soup is a deliciously fresh bowl of comfort that originates from Spain but has developed a following here and in Mexico. Aside from the meatballs (or
albondigas), what really makes this dish shine are the fresh herbs—especially mint—that make the flavors simple yet refreshing.
2. Caldo de res
You can find this dish in just about any Mexican restaurant and often in many different variations. At its core, the soup is simply beef broth, chunks of beef, and large portions of a couple different vegetables, like carrots and corn. It makes for a nice, filling meal, especially when served with a tortilla or two on the side.
This is a soup people either really love or can’t stand but is popular for special occasions or a weekend dish. The key ingredient here is tripe (stomach) but the red chile, lime, and hominy make this dish pop. It’s also a popular hangover remedy, so keep that in mind the next time you have a fun Saturday night.
4. Navajo mutton stew
This is a common, well-loved dish among Navajos with slight variations between families and communities. Typically, you’ll find a simple broth with chunks of mutton, potatoes, onions, and carrots, although other ingredients like hominy are common as well. Don’t expect to find many spices here though; traditionally, the dish is basic but hearty with a flavor that focuses on the meat.
Also known as hominy soup, you’ll find plenty of different varieties of this dish depending on where you get it. In Arizona, you’re more likely to find a red chile version with a variety of toppings while for our neighbor, New Mexico, it’s all about the green chile. Meanwhile, tribal communities also serve their own version of posole with less chile.
6. Red Chile Stew
This is an O’otham stew that is rich, almost atomic red color with plenty of beef and strikingly similar to carne adovada. Order this with a side of fry bread or chumath for a complete, savory meal. It’s definitely a winter winner!
7. Steamed Corn Stew
One of my favorites is this Navajo soup that is similar to hominy but with corn instead. Corn is steamed in the husk, dried, and then later reconstituted by soaking in water then slow cooking in a broth with meat (usually mutton but occasionally game meat) until the kernels "pop." It’s a simple dish that reminds me of home.
8. Tortilla Soup
many interpretations of this soup: actual tortilla strips floating in the dish to resemble noodles, sitting on top of the ingredients, or mixed in to create a thicker, creamier broth. Either way, it’s a deliciously spicy soup that will keep you warm and cozy, or at least while you’re enjoying it by the spoonful.
Those looked so good! Have you tried any of these dishes before? Be sure to let us know your favorite place to find them.
If you have more of a hankering for breakfast then check out our recent article,
The Huevos Rancheros At These 10 Arizona Restaurants Are Incredible. The dishes at these restaurants are divine!