It’s nice to have visitors coming to Boquete from all over the world, especially when the weather is beautiful and all systems are up and working.

The crystal clear water is flowing, internet is fast and television reception is perfect, and we have high definition service! Life is good here in our little mountain town in Chiriqui Province, Panama.

What better way to spend the day of the final Superbowl playoffs than making a big pot of piping-hot, nourishing chicken and broccoli soup. Visitors Carmela and Jack went to Volcan, on the far side of Volcan Baru, and brought back three big, bright heads of fresh broccoli for us. I was inspired.

Chicken is the staple in every Panamanian’s daily diet, so I thought it would make the perfect ingredient to accompany these gorgeous heads of broccoli, and to add protein to make the soup a main dish.

My built-in stove top includes an electric iron grill, which made it easy to cook the chicken breasts, and it seals in the chicken flavor and gives it rich color.

The soup came together easily. I first cleaned and prepared the broccoli and set it to simmer. And, I included most of the stems to add more of the rich vitamins. The remaining ingredients were chicken broth made from Maggi Consome’ de Pollo, a few chopped onions, my “Bella” herb blend and evaporated milk.

When everything was ready, I got out my new black ceramic soup pot with two lids. It was made in China and cost $50.00 in a local Chinese market. It is a little over 12 inches high, weighs 12 pounds and is safe to use on the stove top. The double lid catches the steam and drips it back into the pot. It’s a very clever design, indeed.

Finishing the soup, I de-boned the chicken, cut it into bite-size pieces and added it to the pot.

By the time our guests appeared, the soup was piping hot and ready to serve. Warm, home-baked sourdough bread from Mort’s clay oven was just the right accompaniment.

I added a few croutons and we all enjoyed this healthy, refreshing soup, as well as lots of good conversation with new-found friends.

What a beautiful afternoon in Boquete!