Sometimes the best dishes you have in your life are the simple ones that you have eaten since you were a child. The ones you think nobody would care to learn about since they’re not complicated. This is one of those for me. However, this recipe holds a special place in my heart since I learned how to make this from my mom. My mom used to make this for us all the time and she probably had to triple this recipe to feed all 9 of her kids! God bless her. The minute I saw the HUGE pot on the stove I knew something good was coming out of there. As soon as I grew up I had to learn how to make it.
I remember calling her all the time to give me her recipes and as all recipes from our mother’s go, the instructions were, a little bit of this, some of this, a pinch of this, blah, blah, blah. There were no written recipes! I was left on my own to nail the exact flavor my mom used to achieve. Luckily I inherited my mom’s good cooking skills, or so I think, and learned to cook her way pretty quickly 😀
And so I started making this soup as soon as my first born was old enough to eat it. He was about 9 months old! I used to make everything from scratch (including the chicken broth) so to me this was a totally acceptable meal to feed him. He loved it! And ever since, our tradition of eating this soup year round remains in the family.
Now that my sons are living on their own (and one likes to cook… yay!), I want to pass down this recipe to them and hopefully one day, they will teach their kids how to make it. I want to make this a family heirloom recipe in my mom’s memory :).
It’s actually a common recipe in Mexico but everybody makes it a little different. They add their own zest if you know what I mean. You may think I’m biased but I have not tasted any other “sopa” as good as this one. I swear!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
- 1 (7 ounces) package of mexican pasta. Shells, alphabet, or fideo (or vermicelli noodles, broken into 2" pieces)
- 1/4 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 beef bullion cube
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- A dash of kosher salt (about 1/8 of teaspoon)
- A dash of black pepper (about 1/8 of teaspoon)
- In a 4-qt. saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the pasta until slightly browned. About 5 minutes.
- Add the onions and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes until soft.
- Add the broth, tomato sauce, beef bullion, cilantro, pepper & salt.
- Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low; simmer until the noodles are tender, about 15 minutes.