When I was young, I loved to watch my grandmother cook cazuela. She’d use the bones of the meat for extra flavour and leave the vegetables whole with the skins on, to prevent them from falling apart as they stewed. Because of the nearby Andes, winter in Chile can get quite cold and cazuela is a nourishing, comforting and inexpensive dish to warm up with. But it’s still popular in the summertime as Chileans believe eating hot food in hot weather balances the body temperature. Traditionally, you eat the soup first and then the stewed vegetables and meat afterward, but these days, eating cazuela is an individual thing. My daughter likes to cut up the ingredients on a separate plate and then mix it back into the soup, while some people eat it all directly from the bowl. My grandmother made the best cazuela but now when I cook it, I add my own ingredients and just cook with love. When you cook with love, the food always tastes better.
– Cecilia Cortes