Best Vegetable Soup Is In Mexico
By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
December 20, 2018
Now I have eaten a lot of soup in my lifetime, and some
of it was very good, and I have made a lot of soup, and
some of it was very bad.
Like the French Onion soup I tried to make, but did not
sauté the onions ahead of time.
I thought all one had to do was cook the onions long enough,
and they would turn into wonderful soup. So I cooked and
I cooked, and I realized the longer I cooked, the worse
the soup tasted.
It was then that I started adding things to the soup, and
with each addition, the taste of the soup became more terrible,
and the size of the soup grew until it could only be held
in my biggest pot.
After over a week of cooking and adding to this pile of
sewage, I dumped the whole mess in the garbage.
However, this story is not about the horrible onion soup
I made, but about what maybe the best Mexican Vegetable
Soup I have ever tasted.
It came from a little upstairs restaurant in Mulege, Baja
I did not even order soup. It came with the meal, and the
meal was hardly eatable; a mushy hamburger with slimy French
Fries. However, the waiter served a little bowl of what
he termed “vegetable soup,” and it was absolutely
In fact, I have no idea why they called it “vegetable
soup” as there were no vegetables noticeable. It was
a creamy pumpkin colored soup which could have been made
up of anything, potatoes, carrots and peas.
The taste, whatever it was, melted on the tongue like liquid
pleasure and when I left the restaurant I told the owner’s
wife that it was the very best I had ever tasted.
She thanked me and I left only to return a week and a half
later for the very reason of buying just the soup to take
home with me.
The owner’s wife was there and I reminded her about
the soup and asked if I might buy some. I explained that
I could not stay for dinner because I had difficulty driving
at night on Mexican roads because my night vision was not
She said she understood, and at that time, the chef came
out of the kitchen in full dress. Most of the restaurants
here do not have a chef — there is just one or two
Mexican women in the back stirring things and cooking on
make shift stoves.
Once the chef heard what I was saying he lead me to the
kitchen and said he had several soups, all good. He had
lentel, and some other kind which I do not recall, and then
he mentioned “vegetable.”
I said “vegetable,” but I wanted to look at
it first, and sure enough, there was that pumpkin orange
look in a gallon jug in the refrigerator. I immediately
pointed to it and handed him a jug which I had conveniently
He filled it to the rim, and it may have been a quart, which
I took back to the owner’s wife and said this was
what I wanted. “What is the cost?”
There was a few moments while she and the chef discussed
the price, and I thought I heard 400 pesos which was $20
and a little high, however, when she looked at me and said
80 pesos or $4, I was delighted and thanked them very much.
If fact I gave them a tip of 20 pesos, or $1, and said I
would be returning.
And I will, because that Mexican Vegetable Soup is out of