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If I Had My Way! Mami’s Chicken Soup For My Soul

Hi friends. WOW. I’ve had a tremendously busy 10 days! Writing, singing, cooking, traveling, photo shoots and doing interviews. I don’t have enough hours in my day. And while I don’t need a drink, I do need something stimulating and exciting to keep me going! I have another set of 10 busy days coming up! Sigh.

Any suggestions!?

I told you in my last post that I had a really cool thing to share with you. Since I don’t want to lose you so early, you’ll have to wait ’til the end of this post to read! 🙂

Now, on to food!


sopa de pollo

cuban chicken soup

At my age, my mother shouldn’t have to fix her grown children, anything. Like croquettes when a certain child visits (wink, wink) or a special pot of green split pea (same child)… but every now and then, when the 4 grandchildren visit, abuela wants to act like a grandmother and spoil her babies’ babie’s. Under such circumstance, like tonight, I would have taken full advantage of what ever she was featuring. And though tonight’s dinner choice for the way too smart H. children was my favorite soup growing up, I was tasked with cooking la sopa myself. Mom just had right hand surgery and so she’s out of commission. Poor her…but that just means I get to cook a whole lot while I’m here.

How convenient. (believe me when I tell you that my creative juices have been flowing mad crazy since I’ve been on this visit–and my spoiled father is enjoying having a hot meal every night–something he wouldn’t have while my mom is handless)

This chicken soup is something my mother cooks when anyone is sick or when it’s really cold. Because the entire world has suffered from global warming, we haven’t really seen super cold days to justify a hot soup of sorts. But with a hearty bowl like this one, you really don’t need a reason. In fact, I remember my mom saying she’s just in the mood for it. Soup is one of those things everyone should love and is always good for you–not matter how you feel. Not to borrow the clichè, but chicken soup for the soul is vital.

Finally, after laboring for over an hour and fighting with my mom over our annoying differences in how we move in the kitchen (she’s OCD about dirty dishes and is very step oriented while I go with the flow and just make it all happen), the soup was done and I got to snapping pics. I was so excited when my mother (and that picky father of mine) dished out accolades for how tasty the soup was. It was right up there with my mom’s and really did look beautiful. Full of vibrant colors from all the vegetables like butternut squash (my fave) and even malanga.

I wasn’t going to be truthful, but honesty makes it really easy to remember when being questioned. So, I’ll admit I’ve never ever made my mom’s chicken soup–full of L.O.V.E! And boy was it EVA!! Talk about labor intensive stuff, though! All for them rowdy rug rat nieces and nephews of mine! They don’t even know what goes into feeding their little simple souls healthy food. One of them had the nerve to tell my mom he wanted box mac-n-cheese. I gave him that look and he could do nothing but quietly settle into his chair.


My mom’s soup reminds me of how wonderful it is to have family! The time and patience involved in preparing dinner’s that are really healthy and beautiful is a clear indication of unconditional love. The feelings invoked are almost unparalleled, and for that, I’m so thankful.

Recipe follows below.


Thanks to Ben Herrera (no relation) over at What’s Cooking, I was given my first blog award for Excellence. Yay! I was tickled considering I don’t put myself up in the ranks of some of my favorite bloggers. I do enjoy writing and sharing my food with you all, but there’s still so much growing to do. The photography thing is the hardest and there is so much pressure to make ones own stand out among the hundreds of fabulous food photogs out there. I will keep doing what I do and will only get better- I promise. In the meantime, please do come back often, leave comments, suggestions and anything else you think I might be interested in… 🙂


I had my first experience with food porn this weekend! LMAO! I wish my parents had video taped what was going on in the “studio” where we were shooting food! I had no idea it could get so..uhm…nasty & provocative… Things were going limp, losing momentum, people were getting tired, we needed lubricants, my photog asked my sis to “freak” the lighting and some other unmentionable occurrences. If my project requires me to sit through 4 more photo shoots like this past one, man I am in for some temptation! Jesus save me!!

I can’t share pictures, but I think you can imagine how things went down!

If I had my way…. I’d be in love all over again, singing on stage 4 nights a week and would have my own cooking show.


Because I don’t want to get in the habit of talking about my music and non-food related work/travel on FE, please click here to read the rest of MUSIC related post I mentioned at the top of this one. SORRY 🙁 but I promise you’ll like it.

Enjoy our soup, from our full of love kitchen to yours…

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!

Sopa de Pollo a la Beatriz


  • 2 lbs chicken breasts (skinless)
  • 1 green pepper (halved)
  • 1 red pepper (halved)
  • 4 garlic cloves (smashed)
  • 2 whole tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 2 lbs of butternut squash, malanga and potato (peeled, chunked & divided how you like)
  • 2 stems of green onion (scallions)
  • 3 corn ears, cut in half
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups Fideo or angel hair noodles
  • parsely for garnish, if desired


Fill really large pot with water, about half way and turn to medium. Add chicken, green and red pepper, garlic, tomato, onion and green onion. Add salt and stir. Turn up to high and let cook until vegetables are soft and fully cooked. Bring heat down to low and remove all chicken. Let chicken cool for about 10 minutes. In large bowl, pull chicken apart into pieces of about 1″ thick. Set aside. With colander, remove all vegetables. In blender, liquify all vegetables, adding 1/2 cup of the chicken broth from the large pot. Turn heat up to medium-high and add chicken back to pot. Add basil leave, vegetable mixture, scooping out excess with a rubber spatula, corn and other root vegetables to pot. With your hands, break the angel hair noodles in half and add to pot. Stir everything and allow soup to cook for 30 more minutes or until root vegetables are tender. Top with fresh parsley when serving.

Serve with toasted Cuban bread (much like French bread and found in most big chain grocery stores), if you like.

58 thoughts on “If I Had My Way! Mami’s Chicken Soup For My Soul

  1. WOW, Food Porn, not sure I’ve ever experienced that, but it sounds rather.. interesting?? Reading your post made me miss my family even more. I too have a big family where cooking is more than just feeding everyone, it’s all about love! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Oh yeah, my mom’s figured out just to stay out of the kitchen when I’m in there … doing so solves all kinds of problems! Especially if she’s injured, because I’ll be yelling at her to just sit her butt down and let me do the work! That’s a beautiful soup, Bren, just the kind of thing we need up here in Michigan with all the snow we’re getting today. Is that an idea or what? 😉

  3. Food porn is always interesting, I think. But yeah, when you have to sit for hours looking for the perfect shot it can be very tiring :/

    I really like your blog, the way you write, your pics and your recipes, that’s why you were my perfect candidate for the award 😀

    Abrazos linda!

  4. Bren,

    Congratulations on the award! As far as I am concerned, it’s long over due. You really deserve it for your work and the passion you put/display/i-can-infer-from-you in it.

    As far as food porn is concerned, I am ashamed to admit that I like it more than regular porn…well, sort of…I mean…I don’t actually look at real porn…but…



  5. I envy the big families that love to cook together despite the differences in styles :D. I love to cook for my brothers who are both adventurous eaters but cooking for my parents and sister and their families is just a chore, only because they have no…dare I say it..taste in food. I think though that even the fussy eaters would have gulped down your heart healthy soup and even asked for seconds 😀

  6. HA! You’re funny – food porn! I also think that maybe we have the same mother. I love mine to death, but when I’m cooking and she’s there, some of the fun I have is LOST. She can’t see dirty dishes either! So she’ll either say, “Ummm, Amy, are you going to put that in the dishwasher soon?” or “UMMMMMM, AMY, when do you really think the kitchen will be clean again?” or she’ll just scurry around and clean. SOOOO annoying. but i love her. These soups look great. I love the idea of using your hands with the corn – so fun.

    So our new URL is running (YAY!) and my first post back is on the Jerk Chicken I told you about. I also gave you a plantains ‘shout out’, so check it out when you get a breather from your crazy life. I would drink some Cuban coffee to keep you going. I do it every morning and I’m jacked till about 1PM!

    amy @ http://www.weareneverfull.com

  7. Enjoy every dish your mom makes when she’s doing her abuela thing. My mom’s gone, and I miss her!

    Food Porn sounds…..luscious? Were you playing with your food again, B? ;-0

  8. Hey Congrats on your award – much deserved. My recomendation for something stimulating is either a) coffee or b) doing what you love to do or c0 doing what you love to do while drinking coffee! Hmm, the food porn sounds…provocative!

  9. That soup sounds delicious–I always hated chicken soups growing up since they were usually so simple and bland. This looks like nothing of the sort.

    As for food porn, well, I’m all for it, but…soup? Sounds like it might get…complicated…I guess there’s a first for everything? lol

  10. I will definitely visit your other blog and thank you for sharing this delicious soup recipe! I made Dominican pelau couple of days ago, but I have to repeat it because the picture did not come out… I was in a hurry because family was hungry…

    Have a wonderful week and do not work too hard! 🙂


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