Oyster Soup by Frida Kahlo

Mexican Cooking with Frida

Fridas Fiestas is a beautiful cookbook with Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo, written by Gudalupe Rivera, Diego’s daughter, and Marie-Pierre Colle.   If you are not familiar with Frida Kahlo she is a larger than life personality beloved in Mexico and famous throughout the world for her original provocative artwork and her tempestuous relationship with fellow artist Diego Rivera. They lived and worked together from 1929 until her death in 1954, welcoming politicians, extended family, noted intellectuals, and students to their now famous bright blue azul house in Coyoacan,  a suburb of Mexico City.

The book is divided into 12 months corresponding to 12 different fiestas celebrated in Mexico. Each section includes traditional recipes and remembrances of their life together.  Frida was an enthusiast, so every occasion was a reason to rejoice with food and friends and to prepare the delicious Mexican dishes that robust Diego loved to eat. I will write more about this fascinating couple and share their recipes as each monthly celebration as related in the book unfolds.

We begin in the month of August,  August 26th 1929, the year Diego and Frida were married.  Hundreds of people attended this happy festive affair where the simple balcony of their first apartment  was transformed into a magical garden with colorful displays of paper streamers and pretty paper maiche doves with pendants dangling from their beaks declaring “Long Live Frida” Long Live Diego” and Long Live Love”!

The heavily laden banquet tables were brimming with bountiful platters of homemade regional specialties;  beer, pulque and tequila flowed freely as the wedding guests broke into raucous song and endless cheers for the newlyweds.

Wedding Day menu:  Oyster soup, white rice with Plantains, Huauzontles in green sauce, Chiles stuffed with cheese, chiles stuffed with picadillo, black mole from Oaxaca, and red Hominy stew from Jalisco.

Oyster Soupoyster soup

This splendid oyster soup was served at  Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s wedding reception.

  • 1 large onion,chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 quarts oysters, shucked with liquid
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 crusty rolls, cubed and fried

Saute the onion and garlic in butter until softened. Stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened. Drain the oysters, reserving the liquid. Add the oyster liquid and chicken broth to the saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Add the oysters and parsley and simmer a minute more. Pour the soup over the bread croutons in a soup tureen, serve piping hot.

serves 8

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Oyster soup served in pottery from Michoacan;  Frank, Lynne, and Juan in front of “Casa Azul”;  Frida and Diego’s home in Coyoacan is now a museum;  Bright hues on an inside garden wall.

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