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Rinse the meat and pat dry thoroughly with a paper towel. In a large stockpot, place the meat, onion, garlic and bay leaves. Cover with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer gently. Use a slotted spoon to remove any foam that rises to the surface. The meat will take about 1 ½ to 2 hours to cook.
While the meat is cooking, prepare the sauce. Fill a small pot with 2 cups of hot water and set aside. I like roasting the ingredients of the salsa since it gives a rustic flavor to the soup. Now, slightly roast the peppers in a hot griddle, turning once. Remember, this step takes only a few seconds if you leave the peppers longer on the hot griddle they will have a bitter taste. Place the roasted peppers in the pot with the hot water to soften them, at least 15 minutes.
Roast the tomato, garlic and onion on the hot griddle. The garlic will take less time to roast, so remove promptly. Remove its peel and place in your blender pitcher. Once the tomato and onion are roasted,
place them into the blender as well. Once the peppers have softened, add them into the blender along with a cup of the soaking water. Proceed to puree until you have a very smooth sauce. Set aside.
To cook the vegetables: In another medium size saucepan, add 3 cups of water and the pieces of corn to cook over medium-high heat. 8-10 minutes later, add the xoconostle, chayote, and carrots. About 3 minutes after that, add the potatoes (if using) and finally the squash and green beans to cook for 4 more minutes. Don’t worry if they still look uncooked after this time, they will finish cooking with the meat and sauce.
Check your meat. If it is already cooked and tender, remove the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Now, add the sauce and the Epazote sprigs, stir, and keep simmering for about 8 more minutes. Add the vegetables and stir well. Let it simmer for another 6 minutes to allow all the flavors to blend. You can pour it using a strainer if you want, personally, I don’t use a strainer with this soup since I like how the sauce gives the soup a thicker texture.
To serve, ladle the soup in large bowls with some portions of meat, corn, carrots, chayote, xoconostle, squash, potato and green beans. Garnish with chopped onion, cilantro, epazote and lime juice.
Serve with some warm corn tortillas. There you have it, a whole meal in a bowl!