I eat lunch at Angelica’s fonda in the Mercado 2-3 times a week. And I generally trend towards her delicious Chicken Vegetable Soup and get a small side of beans that I cover with a small scoop of her lime juice infused chili, cilantro, tomato and cabbage salad.

The soup is delicious in it’s simplicity. A bowl with a single potato, a piece of carrot, a slice of squash, a chicken thigh, and then the liver, heart, and gizzard to which she then ladles a scoop of pure unadulterated chicken broth goodness.

I love fresh chicken broth. It’s a childhood thing I think. But whatever, that’s still the first thing that I attack. Two or three spoonfuls of the broth before I’ll touch anything else. Then it’s the creamy chicken liver that I’ll go for next. Then maybe a scoop of the beans and vinegary salad combo to offset the richness of the liver.

Now I more or less just recently became aware of the practice that I actually developed quite some time ago that transformed that ordinary bowl of soup into what could flavorwise be thought of as 3 different soups.

Part way into the bowl I’ll dump in a big spoonful of the homemade spicy hot red table salsa. Bam! The chicken soup isn’t like grandma’s anymore. The flavor has decidedly vectored off into Latin American territory.

Then further towards the end I’ll squeeze half a lime into the bowl. Bam! And again the flavor of the soup does another 90 degree turn as the citrus pushes the flavors into another new direction.

To the Asian people I know what I just described would be met with a blank stare as they’ve been balancing and layering flavors forever.

But to think that you can take something as simple as a bowl of Chicken Vegetable Soup and wring so much more deliciousness out of it this way than if you merely add in all your condiments at once.

Well, I reckon that’s something to think about.

PS – But maybe you already do this. Like my friend, Pancho points out from time to time, “But you already knew that,” whenever I acknowledge one of his wise observations. To which I might respond, “Yeah, I suppose. But sometimes it’s nice to be reminded.”