Milpas are traditional Mexican vegetable parcels. The word milpa comes from the Nahuatl tongue and it refers to a piece of land that is planted with specific types of vegetables. In these parcels, you will always find native ingredients like corn, squash, beans, tomatoes, chiles, and wild greens. These plants not only grow perfectly well together, they also nurture each other, making milpas a self-sufficient type of farming. Milpas are the basis of the Mexican diet and this is my version of a type of vegetable soup that is named after our traditional vegetable growing practice.
There are as many versions of Sopa de Milpa as there are cooks, since each person can make his or her interpretation of the recipe. One thing for sure: the soup must have corn, tomatoes, and some kind of squash or beans. After that, let your imagination fly.
I love soups, especially when the weather turns chilly. There is something comforting and special about a soup that always reminds me of my Nana and being home. You may think I’m always homesick, but that is not so. I just treasure the memories I have from when I was growing up and the ones I continue to make when I visit my family in Mexico.
My Nana taught me that you must know how to make a good stock. Chicken stock is the easiest to make and the one I like best, that’s why I always have some in my freezer, ready for when the mood strikes to make a soup like this one. If you don’t have some at the ready, go ahead and use a good quality commercial stock. You will still love this soup.
A perfect starter to any meal, don’t forget to pass around the lime wedges and chipotle chiles, they make the soup shine. Buen Provecho!