Sopa de fideo is a delicious and easy Mexican soup that uses affordable staple ingredients and comes together in minutes. Like all traditional comfort food classics, there are many different family recipes and variations.
Fideo means noodles, in reference to thin and short golden pasta. It’s the main ingredient, but regular spaghetti broken into one-inch pieces is the perfect substitute.
The noodles add a lot of flavor to the soup, as they are first sautéed in oil until golden brown. This gives a delicious nutty flavor to the soup. Tomatoes and onions are then mixed with broth and poured over it. Sometimes garlic, jalapeños and spices are added to this mixture. I strain the blended sauce to create a smooth, velvety broth that simmers gently with the pasta until tender and the liquid is reduced.
Then all you have to do is add some lime juice and cilantro, pour into bowls, and add your optional toppings. My kids love to crumble tortilla chips over buttered diced avocado. It makes an easy and quick after school snack with basic ingredients. I also like to garnish the soup with different vegetables: diced peppers, carrots or zucchini work well. This soup makes a useful base recipe, so leftover cooked vegetables or roast chicken can be added. You can also use tiny conchiglie or orzo pasta to ring the changes.
Don’t be tempted not to grill the pasta. This is crucial for getting the soup’s nutty flavor and texture. Also, stir the soup regularly while it simmers so the pasta cooks evenly. Be careful not to overcook the spaghetti, a small bite is good.
Fresh tomatoes are usually used and give such a great flavor, but canned ones can be used in a pinch. Fideo con frijols adds beans, another version adds meatballs, and another tops the soup with a fried egg or ladles the soup over an omelet. In its simplest form, a few slices of jalapeño, freshly chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime finish it beautifully.
Lilly’s Cooking Tips
- You can use a good stock cube for this soup or use your own homemade stock. Easily thaw frozen broth by placing the frozen container in a basin of cold water.
- Wash fresh herbs like cilantro as soon as you buy them, then roll them up in a light kitchen towel or towel and store them in the refrigerator. Otherwise, place them in a jar of water like a bouquet of flowers and keep them in the refrigerator.
- Roll a hard lime on your kitchen counter to soften it, or place it in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes. This way it will produce a lot more juice.