May 23, 2019 – I took a break this week from the fictional world of Trent Marshall and Darcey Anderson to spend a little time in the real world. While I was here I discovered a new soup that will hereinafter be a permanent part of my culinary repertoire.
Fideo translates literally from Spanish as “noodle.” It’s similar to vermicelli or thin spaghetti. While fideo can sometimes be found in stores offering ingredients for Mexican dishes, either of the better known pastas is an acceptable substitute.
Sopa de fideo appears in Mexican and TexMex cuisine. It also is served in certain provinces of the Philippines. The Filipino connection lends credence to the theory that the dish originated in Spain. It first showed up in the Philippines in the 17th century when the more than 7,600 islands making up the archipelagic nation was a Spanish colony. It might be one of the earliest examples of fusion in the kitchen.
All of the recipes I looked at included the pasta, broken into small pieces, and browned slightly in olive oil. They all included tomatoes. Meat was not included in most of them. Neither were most of them heavily spiced.
Well, I’m a carnivore. I wanted meat. I included some chorizo. And I like heat in my food. So to “hot it up a little bit,” as my dad would say, I added some crushed red pepper.
The result was terrific! Absolutely terrific!
Here, then, is my take on sopa de fideo.
Sopa de Fideo
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound fideo, vermicelli, or thin spaghetti, broken into small pieces
1 pound chorizo
2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chicken stock, or more as needed
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
salt to taste
In a stock pot or large, heavy sauce pan, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the fideo in the hot oil. Watch it carefully. When it begins to take on a little color, add the chorizo.
When the chorizo begins to brown a bit, add all the other ingredients.
Let the soup simmer for about twenty minutes. Add more chicken stock if needed.