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{Sopa de Fideo} – Authentic Mexican Noodle Soup

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{Sopa de Fideo} – Authentic Mexican Noodle Soup

{Highlighting Spice: Chipotle peppers}

Servings: 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Fideo noodles - Here I used angel hair pasta cut into 1 - 2 inch pieces.

Fideo noodles – I used angel hair pasta & cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces.

Allow me to tell you why you absolutely must try this soup. It’s not only a staple on Mexican dinner tables, it’s delicious and easy to make. In Mexico we call fideo the very thin pasta that resembles Angel Hair; only it’s not long but cut in smaller pieces. Don’t let the cook time fool you, this recipe is simple, but like many family recipes, it has its secrets! A crucial step is frying the fideo noodles. In the U.S. we normally make noodle soups by cooking the noodles in the broth. With Fideo Soup, you have to fry the noodles before adding the broth. It probably sounds a little weird to some of you, but I promise you it’s totally worth it! The other secret is in the final few steps, you’ll see when you get there! Follow these steps carefully and the result will be a light soup in consistency but rich in flavor. You can also add shredded chicken for an alternative to the traditional American chicken noodle soup.

1970's - Sitting front and center: abuelita Elvira with my grandfather, dad and uncles behind her.

1970’s – Sitting front and center: abuelita Elvira with abuelito Pépe, my dad and uncles behind her.

{La Reina del FideoMy paternal grandmother, abuelita Elvira, was the fideo soup queen! Not only did she master this soup, she also taught me the secrets to conquering this recipe. When I was a kid, I would beg her to make it for me. My brother and sister also loved it so much that we could expect a fresh batch every time we visited her and abuelito Pépe. So of course I made a point to learn how to properly make it for myself. I consider it one of my favorite comfort meals, not only because of taste, but because it reminds me of the love and dedication abuelita Elvira had for us.

In my slightly “spiced” up version of her recipe, I added Chipotle peppers, which are smoked jalapeños and I normally buy the canned Goya or La Costeña brands. The chipotles enhance the original flavor with a tiny kick, which makes the soup perfect for one of these weird weather April days! Although abuelita Elvira passed away last fall, her memory lives on with every sip of this delectable Fideo soup. I still remember her standing next to me firmly saying “keep stirring! keep stirring!”, she didn’t want me to burn the noodles. I did that a lot when I first started… ♥

¡Buen provecho!

Step 7.

{Sopa de Fideo}

♥ INGREDIENTS ♥

1 Cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb. roma tomatoes, sliced

2 de-stemmed chipotle peppers (I used canned, start with one if you prefer less heat.)

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup water (for sauce)

6 oz angel hair pasta cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces (Always weigh your dry ingredients for accuracy.)

3 Tbsp oil, separated (I used olive oil)

3 Cups chicken broth, you’ll add separately.

3 Cups water, you’ll add separately.

Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Sopa de Fideo - Stick with fresh tomatoes whenever possible. But you can use 16oz of plain canned tomato sauce if you need to.

Stick with fresh tomatoes whenever possible. But you can substitute with 16oz of plain canned tomato sauce for this recipe, if you need to.

♥ INSTRUCTIONS ♥

1. SAUTEE the onions and garlic in a skillet with 1 TBSP of oil for about 2 – 3 minutes.

Step 1

Step 1

2. ADD the tomatoes and chipotle peppers and cook for another 3 minutes until they soften a little.

3. PLACE the cooked vegetables and peppers in a blender with 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp. salt. BLEND on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

4. POUR the tomato mixture into a 2 quart pot over low heat, just enough to warm it up and keep hot for a few minutes while you brown the noodles.

Step 3

Step 4

BROWNING THE NOODLES

5. ADD 2 TBSP of oil to a skillet over medium to low heat. ADD the noodles to the pot and fry until they turn light brown. This will take about 5 minutes depending on your stove.

Step 4

Step 5

5. (Continued) The trick here is to keep stirring the noodles so they brown evenly.

Step 4.

Abuelita Elvira taught me a few tricks on how to brown the fideo noodles evenly. Lesson # 1 is NEVER walk away from the stove. Lesson # 2 is keep your eyes on the noodles, and don’t stop stirring.

 

6. TRANSFER the browned noodles to the pot with the simmering tomato mixture. Turn the heat up to medium.

7. ADD two cups of the chicken broth and stir well. Let the soup boil on medium heat for about 5 minutes then turn the heat down just a bit so it simmers. COVER the pot.

8. SET a timer for 60 minutes. Or you can set it in increments of 15 minutes, which you will need so you can complete the last few steps.

Step 7.

Step 7.

Abuelita Elvira said, “These final steps will determine the fate of your soup” – as she stood next to me making sure I got them right!

9.  AT 15 MINUTES IN – ADD 2 cups of water, stir well and cover the pot back up so the soup continues simmering

10. AT 30 MINUTES IN – ADD the remaining cup of chicken broth, stir well and cover the pot back up so the soup continues simmering.

11. AT 50 MINUTES IN – ADD one more cup of water, cover and let simmer for another 10 minutes. You can also add some of that leftover roasted shredded chicken at this step, it will warm up with the soup in the next 10 minutes! Taste the soup and ADD more salt if needed.

12. SERVE hot and garnish with a few leaves of cilantro if desired. Nice job for pulling this soup off, you’re already a rock star in the kitchen!

{FIDEO SOUP 101} The reason why we want to add the liquids in intervals is so the noodles can cook as they absorb the flavors. If you add all the water and broth at once the noodles might take longer to cook and you’ll miss out on flavor. If you don’t add the right amount of water and broth, you will have fideo paste the next day for leftovers. The soup will harden like jello, while that doesn’t mean it’s ruined, you will have to add water as you re-heat and you’ll forfeit flavor.

Sopa de Fideo with cilantro garnish.

Sopa de Fideo with cilantro garnish.

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About Maribel

Bilingual digital media and marketing pro | blogger| foodie | fashionista | philanthropist | treehugger in training | speaker | #NotTheCoolGirl #NTCG

34 responses »

  1. Pingback: Flavor of The Week – Meal Ideas | Azúcar & Spice

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  3. I made this soup last night for dinner and it was awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have never bought or cooked with the chipotle peppers before so I didn’t know what to expect. I bought the smallest can I could find. I ended up using 3 peppers instead of just 2 since I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them after. The soup turned out fantastik and I stored the left over peppers in the fridge. So I decided to use them as a marinade for my pork shoulders that I am going to grill tonight. I put the peppers in my little food processor with some minced garlic lime juice and olive oil. It smells awesome.I will post how it turns out. Thank you, I really like your site.

    Reply
    • Hi Nickie, I’m so happy that you liked the recipe and that your soup turned out so well! And thanks for coming back and posting this comment, I always wonder how the recipes turn out for my readers. I think the marinade you made with the leftover chipotle peppers sounds awesome too. How did that turn out? And the great thing about chipotle peppers is that they last a long time in the fridge, as long as you keep them in an air-tight container. You could always make my Chipotle Tzatziki recipe or add them to a chicken marinade as well. They’re so versatile I even pour some of the sauce in my eggs sometimes. Or you could always opt for the dry chiles instead. Up to you! Anyway, I’m sure my abuelita Elvira would be happy to know her recipe is being enjoyed by others too. :-)

      Reply
      • The marinade turned out great. I wasn’t sure if the lime juice would be ok on the meat or not. I have made civiche before and the lime juice just cooked the shrimp and fish. Thankfully it was good. I think it may have tenderize the meat some. I will be checking back for more recipes.
        Thanks so much

  4. I’ve been trying to recreate my Abuelita’s sopa for years. I think your trick about how to add the liquid is what I’ve been missing. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. What I want to know is WHY do you have to fry the noodles?

    Reply
    • Hi Mrs. McAlaster, thanks for your question! We fry the noodles so they don’t over-expand when they cook, which would turn the soup into a paste. If you don’t fry them, you will end up with more of a chicken n’ noodles type of consistency, with plump and doughy pasta. A fideo soup is meant to be runny, but flavorful.
      I hope this helps answer your question!

      Reply
      • Also, we not so much “fry” as we simply “cook” the noodles. I should probably change the word “fry” to “cook”, in the recipe, to help clarify. You just want to cook the noodles in the oil until they’re golden brown.

  6. Miranda lomeli

    My Abuelita’s recipe is very similar! Just keep stirring mija. My recipe calls for chilli powder and cumin and a bit of oaxaca.

    Reply
    • Hi Miranda! Thanks for your comment. I must confess that I’m not a big fan of cumin. But I find your recipe interesting, especially the use of Oaxaca cheese, which I can totally get with! I normally reserve cumin for when I make southwestern recipes that are very traditional in the U.S., like ground beef tacos. I’m curious, is your grandmother from northern Mexico or the southwest U.S.? That’s where I typically find recipes that call for cumin.

      Reply
  7. Here is the recipe I use for sopadefideo. I changed it to be more like my gramas. I use Sopa de Fideo pasta already in the package, don’t cut up angel hair. I purée the tomatoes and onions after sautéing. I don’t garnish with cilantro. I’ve also used a combo of garlic oil and olive oil. I think that’s it. Enjoy, it’s my moms fav soup.

    Reply
  8. Maribel, thank you so much for posting your grandmother’s recipe and procedure for making Sopa de Fideo. I followed it very closely, omitting only the chipotle and substituting my home canned turkey broth for the chicken broth. It was so completely satisfying, what I would call a comfort food. I loved the dominant flavors of fresh Roma tomatoes, the lightly sauteed garlic and onions, and the permeating aroma and flavor of the toasted pasta. I’ve never encountered toasted or fried pasta before; it was a delightful new experience for me.

    My spouse is from Hidalgo, a small town in Nuevo Leon, not far from Monterrey in northeastern Mexico. He said that his abuelita made this soup often. She was from the town of Las Norias in Coahuila. He didn’t know exactly how to make this soup himself, but he said your recipe sounded about right. When he tasted it, he said “This is it, exactly. This is Sopa de Fideo. I forgot how much I loved it.”

    So there you have it. I tried it. We loved it. It will now become a regular item on our menu. Thank you so much for posting it.

    Reply
    • Hi Vern!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! And thank you for giving it a try. I continue to be amazed at the number of people who have been touched by this soup. Wishing you all the best!

      Reply
  9. Could you add meat to this? Or will it ruin it? Thank you :)

    Reply
    • Yes! You can absolutely add shredded chicken or beef to this soup. In fact, the way “tastingspoons”, described it above is a really good method. I would stay away from ground beef though, it would completely alter the consistency.

      Reply
  10. Hi Maribel – I sure enjoyed this soup, Recently I had lunch at a Nordstrom Cafe, and they served a version (theirs) of this soup. Not having had it before, I determined I’d figure out how to make it. After reading many recipes online, I settled on your recipe, with just a few modifications. Nordstrom added carrots to theirs and I think they may have charred some fresh peppers, or perhaps they soaked some dried peppers, as there were little pieces of blackened (roasted) skin in their soup. Next time I make it I think I’ll try soaking some mild peppers to add in. I thoroughly enjoyed making it – and it wasn’t hard! I also just pureed 2/3 of the soup and left the remainder with some texture (I added celery and leeks too – I know – they’re surely not traditional but I had a leek in the refrigerator I needed to use). I enjoyed reading the story about your abuelita. I cooked chicken thighs in the soup itself, then removed them and shredded up the meat and added it back in when I served it. Anyway, what a great recipe, and a loving tradition in your family. I’m going to write up this recipe on my blog (and I’ll be sure to give you 99% of the credit for it since the basics are all your techniques!). I don’t make much Mexican food because I live in Southern California where we have abundant Mexican restaurants and foods at very reasonable prices. Back in the early 60s I lived in Washington state – they had nothing in the way of Mexican food -so I understand your sense of loss when you moved to Columbus. Eventually a tiny little store began carrying a few Mexican products so I was able to make my own then.

    Reply
    • Hi! Thank you so much for your wonderful and educational feedback. It makes me very happy to hear that this recipe has touched and enriched so many kitchens! :-) I know my abuelita Elvira would have been surprised to see how much attention her cooking is getting on the internet.

      Reply
  11. Pingback: Mexican Fideo Soup with Chicken | TastingSpoons

  12. This was a wonderful soup! We had this on our vegetarian night with grilled avocado on the side. It was delicious! Even picky hubby liked it and even ate leftovers. Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Thank you so much for the great recipe. Browning the noodles was really interesting to me because I always brown my rice in olive oil before adding liquids. I never get sticky or mushy rice as a result.

    Reply
    • Hi Katy! It’s funny that you mention browning the rice because that’s also how we make our rice in Mexican recipes! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe :-).

      Reply
  14. As a retired Executive Chef, I’m used to carrying around about 10,000 recipes in my head ( shorthand version )…
    But i love visiting amateur cooking sites to see
    what is happening outside the restaurant..
    some recipes sound great but M & T
    ( Method & Technique ) are wrong:
    1) When sauteeing Onion,
    A) Dry the onion
    B) Get your pan smoking hot
    C) Add oil.. when it starts to smoke, put in onion, salt,
    Start stirring with wooden spoon.
    DON’T LEAVE STOVE… stay put for next 10 – 15 minutes…
    Turn down heat and continue to stir till onions are
    Golden brown. … the caramelized onion flavor will make
    Your version ¡ Incredible !

    Reply
    • Hi Mike!
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your wonderful feedback. I am definitely not a chef, unlike yourself, so I really appreciate the advice on how to caramelize the onions. I actually tried your tip last night while making the sauce for my chiles rellenos and the fragrance that came from the onions was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before with onions! It smelled like an onion mixed with caramel, literally… haha, I don’t know how else to describe the intense aroma, delicious! I’m very excited to have learned this new technique… as simple as it seems, it really does make a difference! :-) Thank you again! And please come back any time to share your advice!

      Reply
  15. Does it matter what kind of onion; yellow, sweet yellow, mexican green…?

    Reply
  16. My family LOVES this recipe!! I have made it with and without the peppers and it is perfect every time. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  17. Finally! I’ve been looking for a fideo recipe that calls for fresh veggies and a blender…and I found it! My mom never used canned tomaotoes…I didn’t even know they existed until I was almost 20! haha Your recipe sounds just like mom’s recipe…I can’t wait to make it:)

    Reply
  18. Is it possible to make this soup ahead of time and reheat without sacrificing quality?

    Reply
  19. Glad I’ve finally found something I agree with!

    Reply

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