A simple bowl of sopa de caracol con verduras is all I need for a complete meal. Oh, no! There must be warm corn tortillas to roll up tightly and dunk into the sopa for the full experience. Or at least that was always the way, and is still the way I really enjoy this simple Mexican-style pasta with vegetables. Most often than not, a traditional plate of sopa is prepared in a tomato broth. The most common pasta used is fideo, which resembles vermicelli or angel hair pasta. But if you have yet to prepare this recipe using a large shell pasta, you need to do that right away! The broth tucks into the shells and just makes the dish that much more enjoyable. In my opinion, anyway. Meals like this were often the main course for our large family growing up.
A basket full of warm corn tortillas, some queso fresco and fresh avocado slices are the perfect way to serve up a bowl of hot sopa! Who’s hungry?
Sopa de Caracol con Verduras(Pasta with Vegetables)
Anytime I can think of what to cook for dinner, I start with a skillet of sopa! This large shell sopa is a Mexican-style pasta dish that comes together quickly. Most often cooked in a tomato basded broth. Almost any kind of pasta can be used.
- 3-4 tablespoons of olive or grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 cups medium to large pasta
- 3 large carrots sliced
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 whole serrano optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 large roma tomato diced
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 9 cups chicken broth
- 3-4 teaspoons Tomato/Chicken flavored bouillon powder caldo de tomate
- 1/ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsely
- 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
- 1 small zucchini diced
- lime wedges
- queso fresco crumbled
- avocado sliced
- serrano or jalapeño sliced
- In a deep skillet or pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the pasta. Cook the pasta, stirring as needed, until it becomes aromatic and begins to brown in spots. Do not leave unattended or it may burn. Remove pasta from skillet onto a plate and set aside.
At medium heat, in that same skillet(or pot), add the carrots, onion, garlic and serrano. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and roma tomato and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add in the broth, bouillon, thyme and parsley. Bring up to a boil and taste for salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer, add in the fresh cilantro, zucchini and previously toasted pasta. Continue cooking for 9-13 minutes or until the pasta is cooked all the way through and tender. Remove from heat and let stand for 7-10 minutes before serving. Remove cilantro. Garnish and serve with tortillas.
If you cannot find the tomato/chicken flavored bouillon, just use a chicken flavored one. Most often I will use a freshly blended tomato puree, but the tomato paste really adds a rich tomato flavor!