Tag Archives: Fideo

Sopa Recipes~One Bowl At A Time

Ever since I was a kid I have loved the flavors of lemons and limes. Growing up in California, there was never a shortage of fresh citrus. Whether is was purchased from the local swap meet over the weekend or picked from the neighbors tree. It was a staple in our house and an ingredient that my Mom often cooked with. I often find myself garnishing many dishes with a  squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice. It really brings out the flavors of the food and keeps you coming back for more. And since I was a kid, I absolutely love sopa! Toasted pasta, most commonly used is fideo or vermicelli, with a hint of tomato and spices makes for a great side dish for any meal.

 

Sopa de Orzo con Limon

Sopa de Orzo y Limon~ Orzo Pasta with Tomato, Carrots, Onions, Garlic and Herbs in a Tangy Lemon/Chicken Broth
Sopa de Orzo y Limon~ Orzo Pasta with Tomato, Carrots, Onions, Garlic and Herbs in a Tangy Lemon/Chicken Broth 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano or jalapeño, minced
1 chayote, diced or 1 summer squash
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
8 cups chicken broth
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon dried cilantro or 1/4 fresh
1/3 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

Sopa de Orzo y Limon
Sopa de Orzo y Limon

1. In a large dutch oven pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, serrano, chayote and carrot. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the broth, juice and zest of 2 lemons. Bring to a boil, season with salt, pepper and dried cilantro. If using fresh cilantro, add later when adding the orzo. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add the orzo pasta and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. It won’t take very long. Remove it from the heat or it will continue cooking. If you serve it right away, you will have a sopa with more broth. But the longer it sits, the pasta will absorb the broth. I like it either way. Garnish with lemon slices. Yields up to 10 servings.

My favorite thing to do lately is to add the juice of a whole lemon or lime when preparing, soups, sopa and rice dishes. I really enjoy the notes of acid that it brings to my favorite dishes. For this Sopa de Orzo y Limon recipe, I added the juice and zest of 2 lemons. One cup of Orzo made a big batch, enough for 10 servings.  You could certainly cut the recipe in half, but I like to share with friends.  it’s a great dish to pass as is, or add it some grilled chicken or shrimp for a complete meal. People often forget to use the zest when adding citrus to a recipe. It a simple and wonderful added flavor for many sweet and savory foods. Here are a few of my favorite sopa recipes.

 

Fideo con Sofrito

Sopa de Fideo or Sopa Seca which means dry soup, no broth.
Sopa de Fideo or Sopa Seca which means dry soup, no broth.

My  Version of Sofrito I Prepared 
Olive oil
2 roma tomato, sliced into 1/4’s
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 serrano pepper, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
A handful (1/4 cup) cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice or red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

You will also need
More olive oil
remaining sweet onion, diced
1clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño or red fresno,(or both) sliced into rings or left whole
1 tablespoon tomato paste or 1/4 cup tomato sauce
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/3 teaspoon crushed oregano
1 1/2 cups broken fideo, toasted

Really like the convenience of the broken spaghetti or fideo. I enjoy Barilla brand pasta.
Really like the convenience of the broken spaghetti or fideo. I enjoy Barilla brand pasta.
Sopa de Fideo prepared with some leftover sofrito I had.
Sopa de Fideo prepared with some leftover sofrito I had.

Directions

1. In a skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add all of the ingredients for the sofrito, minus the lemon juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to blender, add lemon juice and pulse to blender until you have coarse, but not chunky finish, set aside.

2. In another deep skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat to medium. Add the fideo pasta and toast, stirring often, until mostly browned and aromatic. Remove pasta from pan onto plate, set aside.

3. In that same skillet, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and bring heat back up to medium. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño, if using. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste or sauce and sofrito from blender. Cook for 3 more minutes.

4. Add the 6 cups of broth, cumin, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil, taste for salt. Add the fideo back into the broth. Gently stir, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Yields 6 servings. The longer it sits, the more it will absorb the broth. If you like it more like “sopa seca” with less broth only add 4 cups broth instead of 6.

This is how I like to enjoy my sopa de Fideo with extra broth so it’s more like a soup. Makes me feel like a kid again! 

With Extra Broth!
With Extra Broth!

Tips~ Before serving, grate in some fresh queso cotija or Parmesan. Add some freshly crushed oregano, serve with warm corn tortillas or crusty bread.

 

 

Sopa with Orzo Pasta 

Sopa con Pasta de Orzo
Sopa con Pasta de Orzo

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups orzo pasta
1/2 cup white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, quartered
1 serrano or jalapeno, chopped
3 1/2 cups water
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup roasted green chiles, diced
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules

Directions

1. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium heat. Add the orzo and toast for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, hot pepper and about 1/8 cup of water to the blender. Blend until smooth and add to pan of orzo.

3. Add all of the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Stir to combine and taste for salt. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and continue cooking for about 10 to 13 minutes or until orzo becomes tender. It will appear soupy at first, but the longer it sits, the pasta will absorb the broth. Yields 6 servings.

Sopa made with orzo pasta
Sopa made with orzo pasta

 

Sopa de Fideo con Calabacitas

Sopa de Fideo con Calabacitas
Sopa de Fideo con Calabacitas


Olive oil
3 cups fideo(vermicelli) pasta broken into smaller pieces
*the goya brand comes in coils, use 4 coils
1/3 cup white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano, minced
1 small poblano, diced
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 teaspoon pepper
Zest of 1 lemon, reserve lemon for garnish
Salt to taste
1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 full cup)

 

Toasting the fideo pasta before adding the onions, garlic and peppers.
Toasting the fideo pasta before adding the onions, garlic and peppers.

 

1. Toast the fideo in 2 tablespoons of olive oil at medium heat for a few minutes. Use tongs to toss quickly or it will burn. Some darker spots are ok. Add the onions, garlic, serrano and poblano. Cook for another few minutes.

2. Add the broth, tomato sauce and spices. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 10 minutes. 

3. Season the zucchini lightly with salt and pepper and spread out evenly over the fideo. Zest the lemon over the top, cover and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving and garnish with lemon wedges. Yields 6 servings.

Tips~ If you like yours with more broth add extra broth

Sopa de Fideo con Calabacitas
Sopa de Fideo con Calabacitas

Beef Enchilada Pasta Bake with Zucchini

I have to admit, I am not one who prepares casseroles very often. My style of cooking is more traditional Mexican cooking, low and slow and braised for hours. This was the style I learned from my Mom, but when lived in Texas learning to prepare a casserole was a must. My first real experience with enjoying a warm dish out of the oven was in junior high home economics. I took a cooking class one semester and the first thing I learned to prepare was lasagna. I remember recreating this lasagna recipe for my parents and could not wait for them to try it. They loved it! Then my Dad turns to me as says, “That was a nice snack.” LOL!  That’s pretty much how Dad felt about pizza too. You have to understand that my Dad was used getting a full plate of foods like rice, frijoles, carne guisada all served with warm tortillas and maybe a side of guacamole, ha, ha, ha…

After a few years, my Mom did experiment with a few casserole recipes, but my family’s favorite was the Papas Gratinadas (Au Gratin Potatoes) that she used to prepare. Of all things, my Tia from Mexico shared the recipe with her and it was an instant hit! For this beef enchilada pasta recipe, I used some leftover enchilada sauce and just a few simple pantry staples. Instead of using corn tortillas in the recipe, I decided to use some fideo (vermicelli) pasta that I had as one of the layers. Goya makes their fideo and packages it in these little convenient coils, so it was easy to add into the recipe. And no need to cook the pasta ahead of time, that the beauty of this dish. It bakes for an hour and the sauce and extra water are just enough to cook the fideo just the way we like it. I would imagine any small or thin pasta would work for this recipe. And as with any casserole, it taste so much better the next day!

Beef Enchilada Bake with Zucchini
Ingredients

3 cups enchilada sauce, homemade or store bought
1/2 cup water
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, plus more to top cheese
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano, plus more to top cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1 serrano, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounce bag of Goya Fideo
1 medium zucchini, sliced into thing rounds
6 to 8 ounces shredded cheese (I mixed jack with mozzarella)
Red pepper flakes
Cilantro, chopped

Beef Enchilada Bake with Zucchini

Directions

1. Mix the enchilada sauce and water, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cook the ground beef at medium heat. Season with garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Drain off any excess grease. Add in the onions, serrano and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the enchilada sauce and stir well to combine, remove from heat.

3. In a 13X9 baking dish add 1 cup of enchilada sauce and spread out evenly. Add the fideo(vermicelli) pasta, cover with remaining sauce. Layer the zucchini slices on top, spread cheese out evenly. Sprinkle with oregano, red pepper flakes and garlic powder.

4. Cover loosely with foil paper and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. During the last 5 minutes brown the cheese under the broiler. All ovens vary, so don’t leave it unattended. Yields up to 8 servings. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Tips and Variations~ Replace the enchilada sauce with marinara for the Italian version. If you want to leave out the meat, just add a couple more layers of really thin sliced veggies, like mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant or sweet peppers. The idea is to layer them so they cover the surface completely. Some added Parmesan cheese would be a tasty bonus!