Sopa de fideo transports me back to my childhood immediately! Fideo pasta is a vermicelli style pasta that is traditionally prepared in a savory rich tomato/chicken broth. Sometimes vegetables are added. It can be served soupy or sometimes dry. Sopa de pollo con fideos. Is it a caldo(soup) or a sopa? Lol! Caldo would be more like a soup with plenty of broth. Sopa has some broth, but there is a lot of others things going on. Label it how you will, either way, it’s simple Mexican comfort that transports me to my childhood.
Because It Makes Me Happy!
Why do we come back to those simple traditional recipes that we enjoyed as children? For me, it reminds me of simpler times surrounded by my parents and siblings. That warm feeling you would get when you walked in the door from school and could smell fideo toasting. If I close my eyes, I could literally see every detail of the rooms, smell the aromas, hear the sounds. When I am feeling very stressed, I go into my kitchen and prepare sopa or arroz rojo (red rice). As soon as I catch a smell of that rice toasting, I feel calm and relaxed. It’s like magic!
We Are All Different! That’s The Beauty Of It All!
Every Mexican family has their own version on how they like to prepare family recipes. Recipes vary from family to family, state to state, region to region and that’s wonderful! This means there more for all of us to learn and enjoy. That’s how I see it anyway. For example, if I learned to prepare flour tortillas by melting the lard first, that’s how it was. The recipe works for me and that is all that matters. If you feel more comfortable working with the lard in solid form or using oil, butter, shortening, it’s your choice. The wonderful thing about cooking, is learning, testing, experimenting and making the recipes your own.
What Mexican Recipes Remind You Of Home?
My ten top recipes that remind me of home are: Fideo, Caldo de Res, Menudo, Tacos de Cachete, Asado de Puerco, Tamal de Puerco, Costillas de Puerco, Arroz Rojo, Frijoles Charros, Migas Con Huevo!
I could go on and on, lol! Probably missing a few and for you it may be completely different and that’s ok.
To Fry Or Not To Fry?
It’s not going to be a fail if you decide not to fry the pasta when preparing this recipe. It does add a different level of flavor when fried, but really it’s up to you. For me, it wouldn’t quite be the same if it didn’t have that fried, toasted flavor of the fideo. Maybe it’s a nostalgic thing, I don’t know.
Chicken With Fideo (Sopa de Pollo con Fideos)
- medium dutch oven pot
- frying pan, skillet
- 6-9 pieces of chicken drumsticks, thighs, skin on, bone in
- Plenty of water to cook chicken
- 1/2 med white onion
- 1 small head of garlic
- 1 extra large carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- handful fresh cilantro
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 7 oz fideo pasta
- avocado or olive oil
- 1/2 med onion diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 2 sticks celery small dice
- 2 white potatoes diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup spicy red chile sauce, link below or blend 3 very ripe roma tomatoes with 1 serrano, salt to taste. You can also us 8 oz of your favorite salsa el pato or tomato sauce.
- 1 small zucchini diced
- In medium heavy pot, add the chicken, half a medium onion, 1 head of garlic, 1 carrot, 1 stick of celery, cilantro, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt to taste and 9 cups of water. Bring up to a light simmer. Skim off foam as needed. Cook for 40 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot. Strain out all of the solids and discard. Return the chicken to the strained broth and reserve.
Sopa de Fideo
- Once chicken and broth are ready, prep your cook the fideo pasta to proceed. Add the uncooked fideo pasta to a skillet. Drizzle in 2 tbsps of oil. Turn heat to medium.
- After a few minutes, pasta will begin to toast and become aromatic. Stir as needed for the next 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
- In a heavy pot at medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. After a minute, add the diced carrots, potato, celery and onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the garlic and saute for one more minute.
- Pour in 1 cup spicy red sauce (see link) or your favorite tomato sauce (El Pato Salsa Fresca). You could blend 2 large roma tomatoes with 1 serrano or chipotle in adobo for a fresh tomato sauce. It's up to you. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in 8 cups of reserved chicken broth. I only had 6 so I supplemented with 2 cups of water to rinse out my spicy red sauce in the jar.
- Once it comes up to a light boil, taste for salt. Once it is simmering, pour in toasted fideo pasta. Add a small handful of fresh cilantro. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Add diced zucchini and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Ready! Serve with lime wedges, avocado, queso fresco and warm tortillas.