There is a category of home cooking that rarely makes its appearance in restaurants. They are the recipes that are made by grandmas everywhere and uniformly loved, but that no one would think to put on a menu. I suspect that this soup is that kind of thing in Mexico. It is a recipe I came across in Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook and is a very simple but unique take on tomato soup, using toasted pasta. If you have access to Mexican products, you can use a pasta called fideo, which are basically like vermicelli, and if not, broken spaghetti, orzo, or stars. Whole wheat works great as well.
Before adding the liquid, you lightly toast the pasta, giving it a slightly nutty flavor. (Just be careful not to burn the pasta, as I may have done in the one pictured…) Next you add pureed tomato, onion and broth and simmer until the pasta is cooked and you get a flavorful, comforting soup. It takes just a few minutes to put together but will be so much more delicious than any canned soup!
If you’re in a rush, I’m sure canned tomato sauce would work, just don’t add too much or you will end up with something like spaghetti-os.
Sopa de Pasta
- about 5 oz or half a package of vermicelli, orzo, etc
- 2 large tomatoes or 3 to 4 romas
- 1/2 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, cut in half
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 6-8 cups chicken stock (or water and chicken bouillon cube)
In a blender, food processor or cup with immersion blender, blend tomatoes, onion, garlic, and water until pureed.
Heat oil over a medium high heat and add pasta. Toss in the oil and stir until beginning to brown. Be careful not to burn the pasta. Add tomato mixture and broth and bring to a boil. Continue to cook on medium heat until pasta is cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.