"The soup all abuelitas
make their grandchildren, cooking a ojo
, or by feel, with a million variations," says 2019 F&W Best New Chef Kwame Onwuachi
of this comforting recipe. "I didn't have a Puerto Rican grandmother, so this version is a re-creation of the flavors I remember from places like Caridad and Louie's on Gun Hill Road, 188 Cuchifritos, and all the other lechonerias, cuchifritos, lunch counters, full-on restaurants, and street food vendors that nourish and restore the Bronx's massive Nuyorican population. The soup is a festival of comfort. At its base are the annatto and sofrito that define much of Puerto Rican cuisine, plus a touch of cumin and, because it's me who's making it, a bit of house spice to give just the merest hint of heat."