Recipe sponsored by TABASCO. All opinions are mine.
This soup is considered as one of the oldest in Chile. Valdiviano is traditionally prepared using jerky (dried and salty beef) one of the ways of preserving meat before refrigeration was available.
In my family we used to eat it made with charqui or BBQ leftovers; sometimes it contains potatoes, this version is known as Ajiaco. I must confess that this is one of the few kinds of soup I liked growing up. When I prepared it just now in the United States I felt I had been transported into my grandmother’s kitchen in Chile. My daughter came downstairs excited to know what was that yummy smell… genes calling. My grandmother was never shy about adding chili sauce to her cooking. Here in the USA, I use original TABASCO sauce with very good results. I recommend it. And remember to bring it to the table for anyone wanting a hotter and tastier dish.
Jerky available in the US is different from traditional jerky found in Chile. They generally use sugar to cure the meat, and this changes the flavor, so I recommend using leftovers from a BBQ or buying roast beef and drying it in the oven, as indicated below. The end result is very similar to the Chilean classic jerky.
In Chile jerky needs to be heated and prepared before making soup.
Preparation of roast beef:
Preheat the oven to 200F or 100C.
Place roast beef on the baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Cook for one hour. Turn off the oven and let cool in the oven. Chop small. You can make it the day before.
Preparation of jerky:
Preheat the oven to 350F or 180C. Distribute jerky on a baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. When it is cold enough to touch without burning, shred and discard any bits that are hard or have connective tissues. Chop the rest small.
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Valdiviano, Chilean onion soup
- 1 tablespoon lard or butter
- 2 onions, sliced thin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 150 grams jerky (roast beef)
- 1 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco original
- 2 liters beef broth
- 2 cups yellow pumpkin, diced
- 1 bread
- 1/2 cup of milk
- Salt, oil
- 1 lemon
- 8 eggs
- In a large pot over medium-high heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter. Add paprika, stir.
- Once butter is dissolved add thinly sliced onion and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped jerky or roast beef, oregano, cumin and the Tabasco original sauce. Stir and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Place chopped bread and milk in a bowl and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Using a fork form a homogeneous paste.
- Add broth and pumpkin. Stir and when it starts boiling again, lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400F or 200C.
- Add bread to the soup, cook for 5 more minutes until or until it boils again. Add chopped parsley and lemon juice. Stir, taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve in bowls that can go in the oven, traditionally ramekins or clay plates.
- Place 1 egg in each ramekin and bring to the oven until the egg white is cooked 5-10 minutes.
- Serve hot. Be careful with the ramekins, they will be very hot.