In the realm of comfort foods, few dishes can rival the simplicity and soul-soothing qualities of soup. While childhood classics like chicken noodle soup, minestrone, or even creamy tomato bisque might come to mind, there is a tomato-based noodle soup, sopita, that you should be enjoying far more often. A staple in many Mexican households, sopita brings together the nostalgic flavors of tomatoes and noodles, and heaps in a long history of home-cooking along with the ingredients.
It's also known as sopa de fideo, after the short vermicelli-type Mexican noodles that are often used in it. As with all recipes that have been around for a long time, ingredients can vary, and some people prefer to use short pasta. To fully appreciate this tomato and noodle soup, you need to understand its rich history and origins.
With a little guidance and a few tips, you can fully embrace this traditional dish, cherished for generations, by making it at home for a cozy meal. It's a great addition to your catalog of soup recipes.
Read more: 14 Tips You Need When Making Broth
The Tradition Of Sopita
Sopita, which translates as "little soup," exudes simplicity of ingredients and depth of meaning. While its exact origins remain elusive, its beginnings likely date back to the 1600s when the Spanish were conquering lands including Mexico and the Philippines, where they first introduced a similar soup. It is still eaten in certain parts of the Philippines, today. It was Mexican cooks who most likely perfected how pasta was incorporated into the soup, absorbing the flavor of the broth.
As Mexican cuisine evolved and absorbed influences from various regions, the simplicity of sopita remained a steadfast symbol of homeliness, eaten at any time of day, and given to the sick. Making the soup became a time-honored tradition, with recipes passed down from generation to generation. It is still often made daily in Mexican kitchens, and has become a culinary backdrop, before which families live their lives.
How To Make It
Just five ingredients are used to make sopita: Tomatoes, noodles, broth, aromatics, and herbs and spices. The stars of the show are the ripe tomatoes, which infuse the soup with their sweetness and vibrant color. A homemade tomato soup base is essential for this recipe. Whether you choose vermicelli or short-cut pasta, the noodles provide the comforting texture that defines sopita.
If possible, use homemade chicken or vegetable broth in your sopita for a deeper, more nuanced taste. Onions and garlic lend their aromatic charm to the soup's aroma and taste. Cumin is a common spice that adds a touch of complexity. Finally, fresh herbs (cilantro is the most widely used), a sprinkle of grated cheese, or a squeeze of lime can add the finishing touch of culinary love and individuality to your sopita.
To make sopita, sauté finely chopped onions and garlic in a pot until they turn translucent and release their enticing fragrance. Add ripe, diced tomatoes and let them cook until they break down and form a luscious base. Pour in your choice of broth and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Toss in a dash of cumin to elevate the flavor profile. Drop in your choice of noodles and cook until tender, absorbing the flavorful broth. Cook the noodles just until al dente (although some Mexican recipes like the pasta to be soft). Season with salt and pepper and tuck in.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.