Sopa Seca

Pasta. That's not Mexican, right? Think again. You see it in homes throughout Mexico, one of the many foreign foods that we have welcomed[ into our cuisine and something I ate growing up. We call this Mexican comfort food, funnily enough, sopa seca, which means "dry soup."]

2 servings as a side or snack
  • Roasted Tomato-Chile de Arbol Salsa:
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes (about 4)
  • 3 to 6 chiles de arbol, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sopa Seca:
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup small shaped pasta such as melon seeds, orzo, or alphabets
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Tomato-Chile de Arbol Salsa
  • 2 cups chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • A handful of shredded cotija or queso fresco (preferably the Cacique brand, or pecorino, Parmesan, or lightly salty feta
  • Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or medium pot over medium-high heat until it ripples. Add the pasta and cook, stirring constantly, until the pasta is golden, about 3 minutes.

  • Scoop out and discard 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the Roasted Tomato-Chile Arbol Salsa and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time. Pour in the chicken stock and let the liquid come to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook, stirring once in a while, until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.

  • Divide the pasta between two bowls and garnish with the cilantro and cheese.

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    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen