Cooking has always been an integral part of my life. I am happiest when I can serve a good meal to the people I love. It starts with one idea, the one main dish that develops with flavor through the slow labor of love. Every ingredient is carefully thought out to please the palate and open the senses to a gastronomic journey. My purpose is to remind one of childhood memories or newfound dreams found within a warm bowl of soup, filled with herbs and aromatics. Cooking with the seasons is very organic and supplies your body with the exact nutrients it needs during each season. Cooking is a service to me, a pleasure, an art that I co-create on the magical easel of the PICA gardens. I have had of some the most incredible experiences over the past two quarters facilitating a work group with some amazing PICAns and volunteers. Working every Saturday has given me the upmost privilege to be in a space where the love of food and community is shared and adored. I am thankful that I can share my love of cooking which came from my grandmother who migrated from Mexico over seventy years ago. Her inspiration helped me to understand the concerns of people and the ability to comfort people in times of need. I value this gift and continuously use her wisdom to service people through their stomach. I believe this is the way to heal individuals from the inside out. Today I would like to share a recipe for Caldo Tlalpeño that was inspired from a trip I took in 2012 to the beautiful state of Guanajuato, Mexico. This soup is especially good for kicking a cold and warming your bones. Try it with a variety of vegetables in season and Spanish rice or add chicken if you desire.
Check out this awesome recipe at: http://picarecipes.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/caldo-tlalpeno-veggie-chickpea-chipotle-soup/
About the author: Madeline Thompson is the Saturday Community Meals Coordinator at PICA.