In Central Mexico, the Aztec eating traditions are combined with Spanish influences. Aztec soup is only found in Mexico - and in Paco Franco's restaurant Agüevo! in Berlin-Friedrichshain.
Paco Franco: "There is no regulatory agency in Mexico."
From pediatric dentist to restaurateur - that wasn't too much of a leap for Paco Franco from Mexico. "Both involve the mouth," explains Paco Fraco with a wink. In 2009, he and his German wife moved from Mexico City to Berlin. To keep working in his profession here, he would have been forced to return to the university to study.
But that wasn't in the cards for Franco - and he was starting to miss good Mexican food. So the logical conclusion was that he would open his own restaurant. In 2013, Paco Franco opened Agüevo!, a place designed to give Berliners a taste of life in Mexico. Paco Franco is an excellent cook, too. He learned that from his mother. As a child, he spent a lot of time in the kitchen with her. In Mexico, that's perfectly normal, he says.
Agüevo! in Berlin's Friedrichshain district
The restaurant is colorful and full of authentic Mexican accessories. Paco Franco has a Mexican artist paint the walls, The space is decked-out in skulls and skeletons, figures which are an important part of daily life in Mexico.
For the soup:
For the garnish:
Peel onion and slice into large pieces. Peel garlic. Heat canola in a very flat, large pan. Add onions, un-chopped tomatoes, and garlic. Add cloves, cumin, and peppercorns. Stir thoroughly. Slice open chilis, remove seeds, and add to pan. Continue to stir to prevent burning. Sauté for around 15 minutes until ingredients brown.
In the meantime, heat vegetable broth. Add epazote and sautéed vegetables. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for around 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Purée soup and strain through a sieve. Add corn meal and tomato sauce to soup, and stir until clumps of flour have separated. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for ten minutes.
For garnish, chop sheep's cheese into small cubes and place cubes into a bowl. Balance tortilla chips on the edge of the bowl. Ladle hot soup into bowls, and add a dollop of guacamole and sour cream. Serve with refried beans.
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