Mexican sopa de fideo is a staple in all Mexican households. A deliciously brothy and comforting fideo soup that everyone, young and old, enjoys any day of the week.
My mother used to make fideo soup (sopa de fideo) at least three times per week for lunchtime as a simple entrée for her wonderful and delicious meals such as beef chile rojo with frijoles de la olla. Just as every mom in Mexico does for their family.
What is sopa de fideo?
Sopa de fideo, also known as Mexican sopita, is a Mexican noodle soup made with vermicelli or angel hair pasta cooked in a tomato-based broth. The recipe is a staple in Mexican cuisine and the most popular version of sopas aguadas.
Sopa Aguada (Mexican soups)
Mexican sopas aguadas (brothy soups) are a comfort food prepared daily in almost every home. Is served as an opening for comida corrida (Mexican menu), but sometimes is also served as a main dish with avocado slices, queso fresco, and cream.
The names for this type of soups can vary, for example, can be called sopa aguada, sopa de pasta or sopita. It doesn’t matter because all of them are made in the same way.
How are sopas made?
Types of pasta for making sopa can vary, being fideos (broken spaghetti) the most common. But also other kinds like conchitas (shells), estrellitas (little stars), letras (alphabet), etc. are used for making Mexican sopita.
Depending on the type of pasta, the soup takes its name, so that’s why this recipe is called sopa de fideo, while the one using little stars is called sopa de estrellitas, and so on.
The base is a tomato broth, made with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chicken broth. This base sauce is named recaudo and is a staple not only for this kind of soup but also for many other dishes like arroz rojo (red rice) or albóndigas.
Other ingredients might be added to the mix, to make this sopa de fideo more complete, for example, diced vegetables, minced meat, or shredded chicken.
- FIDEOS – Mexican noodles. They’re basically spaghetti broken into small pieces. Angel hair pasta and vermicelli are also a good option.
- RECAUDO – Fresh tomatoes, onions and garlic. Blend with chicken broth. You don’t need to add so much tomatoes, if you do so, you’ll end with a simple pasta with tomato sauce, while sopita is traditionally with lots of broth.
- CHICKEN STOCK – I like to use homemade, but from time to time I also use granulated chicken bouillon + hot water.
- CILANTRO – This is totally optional but it adds a nice flavor to this soup. You can add a few sprigs when cooking the soup or blend it with the tomato and onion or even add it chopped when serving.
How To Make Sopa de Fideo
Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Place it with the onion and garlic in a blender, add 1 cup of chicken broth and blend until pureed.
Preheat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add pasta and stir to coat with oil. Cook stirring constantly until the pasta is nicely browned.
Pour the tomato sauce (recaudo). Let it sizzle while mixing for about half a minute.
Add 3 or 4 cups of chicken stock (or water + chicken bouillon). Season with salt and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until fideo pasta is well cooked. Adjust salt to taste and serve immediately.
How it’s served?
Traditionally, this sopita is served only with a squeeze of lime and that’s it. But, sometimes -especially if served as a single meal- can be added avocado, a dollop of cream, pickled jalapeños, and sprinkled queso fresco on top.
Tips and tricks
Make it vegan
This Mexican sopa is so easy to turn into a vegan version. Just replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Add some diced veggies to the mix and there you go, a delicious vegan fideo soup for lunchtime!
Serve with a squeeze of lime, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, and a few slices of fresh jalapeño peppers.
Make it healthier
For a healthier version, do not fry noodles. Instead, toast them at low heat in a frying pan and then add them as the recipe calls.
You can also add them to the tomato broth without toasting. Even though the consistency of the fideo soup will be a bit different, it will still result in a delicious and healthier dish.
Tips for storing and reheating
If you ended with leftovers, place them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place Mexican sopa in a small saucepan, add a splash of chicken stock or water, and heat it up on the stove.
Watch How To Make It
Hungry for more? Try our recipe of sopa de fideo con pollo, which is almost like this recipe but with the addition of chicken and vegetables.
Mexican Sopa de Fideo
- 8 oz fideo pasta (or vermicelli, angel hair pasta)
- 2 small tomatoes (or ½ cup of canned tomato sauce)
- ½ medium onion
- 1 small garlic clove
- 4 ¼ cups chicken stock (or water + 3 tsp of chicken buoillon)
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- Cut tomatoes in half and place them with the onion and garlic in a blender.
- Add 1 cup of chicken stock and blend until pureed.
- Preheat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add pasta and stir to coat with oil. Cook stirring constantly until the pasta is nicely browned.
- Pour the tomato sauce. Let it sizzle while mixing for about half a minute.
- Add remaining chicken stock. Season with salt and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until fideo pasta is well cooked.
- Adjust salt to taste and serve immediately.
- This is a brothy soup, so don’t be scared for the amount of stock or water you have to add.
- Eat is as soon as you can. Leaving it to rest makes the pasta to absorb almost all liquid and is not nice.
- If you want a smoky flavour in your soup, roast the tomatoes and onions in a comal or iron skillet.
- If you have leftovers, place them into a container with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.