Sopa de Nopal (Nopales and Tomatillo Stew)

Nopales (Cactus) and Tomatillo Stew (Sopa de Nopal)
Nopales and Tomatillo Stew (Sopa de Nopal)
This cactus, tomatillo, and potato stew from Mexico City home cook Susana Rangel Gutierrez is flavored with crisp pork rinds, which add robust depth and crunch.Ingalls Photography

This cactus, tomatillo, and potato stew from Mexico City home cook Susana Rangel Gutierrez is flavored with crisp pork rinds, which add robust depth and crunch. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story When the Work is Done.

Sopa de Nopal (Nopales and Tomatillo Stew)
This cactus, tomatillo, and potato stew from Mexico City home cook Susana Rangel Gutierrez is flavored with crisp pork rinds, which add robust depth and crunch.
Yield: serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 jalapeños, stemmed
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • 1 lb. white waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 6 medium nopales (cactus pads), cleaned, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, and rinsed or two 29-oz. jars sliced nopalitos, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 oz. fried pork rinds

Instructions

  1. Bring stock, tomatillos, garlic, jalapeños, and onion to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium; cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then working in batches, transfer vegetables and stock to a blender; purée until smooth and return to pan. Bring soup to a simmer over medium heat; add potatoes and cook until tender, about 18 minutes. Add cactus and cook until very tender, 15–17 minutes. Season soup with salt and stir in half the pork rinds; garnish with remaining pork rinds.