Monday, April 23, 2012

Sopa de Fideo {she made, ella hace}

Sopa de Fideo (or Mexican Noodle Soup) is one of those things that we make when things in the pantry and fridge are getting down to bare bones.  It's super simple, yet I'd never tried it before I got married.  Well, to be fair, I'd never even heard it.  So it would've been kinda hard to make it.  But that's beside the fact.  My point is, this is one of those everyday foods that sort of take for granted.

The more I thought about it, the more I decided that it's just as fun to share the quick everyday meals that are easily overlooked as it is the more complex ones.  So I asked Leslie (from La Cocina de Leslie) if she wanted to share Sopa de Fideo for She Made, Ella Hace this month.  Guess what she said?

Yup.  You're good.
Over the past ten years, I've always made my Sopa de Fideo with the small, cut fideo (like the ones I used in this soup) because this is the way my husband does it...and really, the way most of the Mexican's that I know do it.  But I know that many people also use the longer noodles.  Have you seen the type?  They come in little bundles or "nests"?  I've been meaning to try it with these for quite some time now.  And now I have.

When I use the shorter noodles, I always saute them in a pan first with onion and a bit of garlic (and oil, of course).  It's the same method as toasting rice before cooking it.  The grains...or noodles...get coated and toasty and they hold up better to the liquid that is added to them later.  And the flavor?  Much more complex. Deep and toasty.

The same goes for the nests.  Coat 'em in oil and bake them until they take on a deep, golden color.  You want them to get flavor because basically, this soup is noodles and broth -- so they'd better both be bold enough to make a satisfying meal.
Sopa de Fideo {Mexican Noodle Soup}

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: simmer soup/stew pasta Mexican
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
  • 5 oz. fideos (dried vermicelli, angel hair, or spaghetti in "nests")
  • olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, liquid drained (use for something else)
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 quarts chicken stock/broth
  • few large sprigs cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño chile
  • salt
  • lime, cut in wedges
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay pasta nests out on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush liberally with oil on both sides. Bake for 8 minutes and flip over and bake for another 5-8 minutes, depending on how deeply you want it to brown. Set aside.

Combine tomatoes, onion, and garlic in the jar of a blender and process until smooth. Heat 1 Tbs. of olive oil in a 4-6 quart pot over medium heat. When it is hot, add the tomato mixture and stir until it gets as thick as tomato paste, 6-7 minutes. Add chicken broth and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to and let simmer for ~30 minutes. Taste and season with salt.

Slice the jalapeño with four slits, from stem to point (leaving whole chile intact). Add it to the broth along with the toasted noodles. Simmer until noodles are tender, ~8 minutes.

You can either just let the chile sit in the soup (that's what I do) or discard it. Serve hot with lime wedges for squeezing over it. Even better the second day (which is why I like to leave the chile in...add a little more heat!).

adapted from Rick and Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventures
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I still enjoyed the sopa, but honestly...I prefer the shorter cut noodles.  For one reason.  They're like a million more times easier to pick up in your spoon.  That was the same comments I got from the kids.  And the hubs.  He didn't say anything, but I'm pretty sure he was thinking DUH...why do you think that I make it with the short fideos!?  Ha!

For more fideo goodness, head on over and check out Leslie's version of Sopa de Fideo (she is sharing a dry...or seco...version today, but you can see a soupier version that she posted previously here).

What happens when two American girls who are both married to Mexican guys find out that although one of them lives in the U.S. and one of them lives in Mexico, they both love eating the same food?  Well, naturally they decide to get "together" the only way they can and cook up the same dishes.  Or perhaps take the same ingredients and talking about them in their own voice or using them in their own way. 

Leslie and I have teamed up to occasionally cook/bake/make a our own versions of the same food.  We want to see how similar (or how different) they turn out.  Other times we will pick an ingredient and use it however we choose...or maybe just talk about it.  Good food knows no borders and we hope to share the food we love with you.  It's not a competition, it's a showcase.  We will post on the same day as each other and would love to hear your thoughts on what we've made and how you make it. 

Join me (here at girlichef) and Leslie in her kitchen (at La Cocina de Leslie) for some delicious food.
She Made, Ella Hace Banner- girlichef.com and lacocinadeleslie.com

I am sharing this post with:
PPN: hosted by Simona of Briciole this week
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