Mexican food is famous across the world for its flavors and spices. Any dish which originates from Mexico is a treat for the senses.
Sopita is no different, and this Mexican pasta soup recipe is not only affordable and versatile – it is so easy to make!
If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful meal and how to make it, continue reading.
What Is Sopita?
Sopita, translated into English, literally means “little soup”. It is a stock-based soup involving pasta, typically pasta shells, and can be topped with cheese.
Sopita, also known as Sopa de Conchas, originates from a similar dish in Spain, and was adopted and altered by the locals into what it is today.
The original dish added the pasta shapes towards the end of the cooking process, meaning the pasta did not become overly wet and soft and retained a slightly tougher texture.
This Mexican version of the dish, however, is prepared in such a way that the pasta becomes much softer.
Sopita is a hearty and staple food in many Mexican households. It is often eaten during cold weather or given to someone who is ill, similar to chicken noodles or chicken soup.
There are many varieties, depending on the type of pasta used – it can be called Sopa de Fideo (if cooked with angel hair pasta) or Sopa de Codos (if cooked with elbow pasta).
There is no limit to the experimentation that you can do with Sopita. It is even possible to make Sopita with alphabet shapes! This recipe will be the simplest one, the traditional Sopita with pasta shells.
What Is Sopita Made Of? (List Of Ingredients)
The Sopita soup base consists of chicken broth. This will require the following ingredients.
- 1 whole chicken with bones
- 2 medium celery stalks
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tablespoon of salt
The rest of the meal requires a few more ingredients.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 14 oz of small pasta shells
- 15 oz of tomato sauce (fresh or bought from a store)
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, or crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
There are plenty of additional ingredients which can be added if you choose, such as ground beef or shredded cheese!
Adding extra vegetables, like peas, beans, or chopped mushrooms, is also something to consider.
Sopita is a very flexible dish, and knowing the basic preparation and cooking method can open up a huge range of possible variations.
For a meat-free or vegan alternative, simply replace the chicken broth with a vegetable broth. You will still find your Sopita to be a hearty and fulfilling meal.
For a much thicker consistency, you may even consider cooking with rice instead of pasta shapes.
Rice absorbs much more water than pasta, and as such cooking your Sopita with rice instead will achieve a thicker and more filling dish.
How Is Sopita Made? (Step By Step Recipe)
Now that you have your ingredients, it is time to start cooking the Sopita.
Start with the chicken broth, as this takes much longer and is the vital base of the Sopita dish.
- First, place the chicken in a stock pot large enough to fit in the other ingredients. Submerge the chicken in cold water and bring it to a boil at a high temperature. Then lower the heat and allow the chicken to simmer for half an hour (remembering to skim any foam that forms in the water).
- Chop the celery, carriots, and half of the onion before adding them to the pot. Add them with a tablespoon of salt. Place the lid onto the pot and let this simmer for another thirty minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
- Chicken broth can potentially be simmered for up to five hours, and the longer the cooking time the stronger the broth will be, but the timeframe given here will be long enough to prepare your broth.
- Remove the chicken from the pot. Once it has cooled down enough to hand, strip the meat and bones apart. The meat can be added back into the dish whilst cooking the pasta, or can be saved for later to be eaten with another meal.
- Strain the broth. The broth can be kept refrigerated for a while, or used immediately.
Once the broth has been prepared, it is time to work on the heart of the meal. Gather the rest of your ingredients, and any extras you wish to include.
- To begin cooking the pasta, add the oil to a saucepan and put on a medium heat.
- Once the oil is heating up, add the dry pasta shells. Stir this for five minutes, or until the pasta has turned brown. Be sure to stir the pasta evenly so the browning of the shells is equal on all sides.
- Add the other half of the onion, and saute them until they soften. This should only take around two minutes, so be wary of the time.
- Add your pre-prepared broth, as well as the tomato sauce, garlic powder, and cumin. Salt and pepper can be added at this stage, as well as any other seasonings or ingredients of your choice – such as cilantro or ground beef. You can also consider adding back the chicken from the preparation of the broth. After this stage, re-add the cover to the pan when not stirring.
- To prevent the shells sticking to the pan, continue stirring for around five minutes.
- Bring the soup back up to a boil by increasing the heat. Once it is boiling, lower the heat back down again to medium. Allow your Sopita to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes, or until the pasta shells have become tender.
- Remove the lid and keep it off, allowing your soup to further simmer and condense. This will greatly increase the flavor. Stir until the Sopita thickens and gains a soup consistency. You can skip this step if you would prefer a thinner consistency and texture.
- Turn off the heat and serve your soup.
- If you wish, further season your soup with shredded cheese, avocado, or lime juice.
- Enjoy your Sopita while it is hot! Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.
What Other Things Can You Eat Sopita With? (Final Thoughts)
Sopita can be enjoyed as a main meal, but it also works brilliantly as a side dish to accompany other plates or foods.
Any Mexican food can work with Sopita, such as soft-shell tacos or quesadillas, to add even more of a taste of Mexico into your dining experience.
Alternatively, you can pick any food that is known to pair well with soup and will taste great! Try toasted bread, croutons, some flatbread or cornbread for a simpler, but still tasty, side with your Sopita.
If you like mixing Italian food with your Spanish food, why not eat your Sopita with a side of garlic bread?
You could even prepare a salad to eat with your Sopita. With a dish that is as versatile and heart-warming as this Mexican Sopita, there are very few limits to what it can be paired and eaten with.