Palace of the Blue Butterfly | Episode 3

Spring. Finally.

I’ve thrown open all the windows. The hyacinths are in full glory in the window boxes, and when the breeze blows, the scent fills the house.

When that happens, I simply have to stop what I’m doing and just inhale.

Even though my pots of Tulipa Abba are in splendid bloom on the porch, it can still get cold at night. Soup is a great way to take the early spring chill off.

I’m giving you a recipe to try for Sopa Tarasca.

Two reasons why:

One, it’s the soup I was served on the terrace of the Villa Montana in Morelia the day I started writing this novel. Two, it’s exactly the soup I imagined Fatima serving Lili in Episode Two of Palace of the Blue Butterfly, the one she served in the rustic, clay bowls.

Actually, this isn’t my recipe. It belongs to Pati Jinich, the chef on Pati’s Mexican Table, a new cooking show on PBS. This show is just one more reason funds to PBS should not be cut!

Here’s a little clip:

The music is enough to turn me into a salsera. “Give me your chocolate, give me your sweet, brown sugar, give me hot coffee, give me your heart.” Pretty much sums up the things I want in life right there!

So go to Pati’s site, look up soups and then find the blog post “About a soup and a book“. I do have one suggestion though. You’ve got to make your own beans. Period. Canned beans taste like soap and metal. Yuck! Plus there’s the whole BPA thing.

I’m sure you could find some great bean recipes from Diana Kennedy. She’s a fascinating woman, and a wonderful cook, really one of the first people to put Mexican cooking on the English speaking map. Sometime I would love to study Mexican cooking with her in Michoacan. She used to give classes in her home.

Or, you could check out Rick Bayless’s site. He’s one of my heroes. Dave took me out to dinner at Topolobampo in Chicago once, and it was a super thrill!

Anyway, make yourself the soup, grab a cold Corona and a wedge of lime. Pop your earbuds in and listen to Episode Three. Things are about to get way more complicated!

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Episode 3 – click and listen” dl=”0″]


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