Yum! (And yes, it is a paper bowl!)
I thought today I would put up a post on sopas. I have been up all night, and made some in the wee hours of the morning. :O)
A decade and a half ago I was working with a young lady from Brazil who had been adopted by a hispanic family here in California. She was really proud of her Brazilian heritage, but had learned to cook from her adoptive parents.
One day she brought me a yummy dish she called Mexican spaghetti. She said she hated cumin and oregano seasonings, so she made the flavoring her own, with homemade chili pepper flavored olive oil, little peppers, dry mustard, parsely, curry and chili powder. I noticed the noodles were tiny and very easy to eat.
She had me come over to make spaghetti with her, and in the process she explained what sopas were and how to cook them. You would laugh if you could see the note I wrote myself those years ago and the torn piece of paper it is on. No measurements, or any directions, just ingredients and the order of them. So funny!
What has brought this to my mind recently is the fact that I have numerous food allergies, and some are quite serious for me, causing anaphylaxic shock. One of these allergens for me is soy. So, no soy sauce for me! I have been craving these cups of noodles that you pour boiling water into and steep until the noodles are soft. I tend to eat them when my tummy is upset with me, and I need to eat anyway. I needed something like this for my tummy, but they all have soy, and way too much salt. So I just fixed these up and remembered how to do it!
Today, I am sharing the basics of making sopas with you.
– 1 sm. package of tiny noodles (I find them in Mexican food isles. The packages are about 7 – 8 oz. of pasta. The pasta is tiny, and varies in shape. Some are 1/2 inch spaghetti type, some are stars, some alphabet, etc.)
– pan spray or oil. I use olive oil if I am using oil. I usually just use olive oil flavored Pam spray.
– chopped onion, garlic if you want it.
– chicken/beef broth or broth powder (I use Caldo de Pollo by Knorr (broth powder) or Tomate, which is chicken broth powder with tomato in it, of Caldo de Res (beef), Vegetable broth, tomato juice. Sometimes if I have leftover chicken broth from cooking chicken, I save it to use in noodles or rice.
– seasonings as desired (I usually just use the Caldo de Pollo and lemon pepper (as pictured), but if I choose to use other flavorings, I use tomato sauce, and favorite seasonings, depending if I want Mexican flavor, Italian or Other. You can make it like spaghetti or like Ramen noodles.)
1. Prepare skillet. Spray pan with no-stick pan spray, or pour in a scant amount of oil, just enough to moisten the bottom of the skillet. Do not use too much oil! If you are using half a bag of pasta, use small skillet. If you are using a full bag, use a full sized skillet.
2.Put skillet on burner. Turn burner on Med High heat.
3. Add chopped onion and/or garlic, if using. Saute until translucent. Onion first. It takes longer.
4. Add pasta and brown in oil or cooking spray, stirring quickly. You can cook until light brown, or just barely heat it enough to heat through. This browning keeps pasta from getting mushy, even when cooked to soft state. Be careful to not overbrown. The pasta is tiny and thin and browns quickly. Keep watch on it.
5. Stir in desired seasonings.
6. Add water, broth, sauce to close to the top of skillet, about 2 cups for small skillet. Must have fluid 2″ deeper than pasta so pasta won’t be too chewy.)
(I usually bring the fluid to simmer, then stir in dry seasonings.)
7. Bring to boil. Cover, and reduce heat immediately to simmer. Simmer 12 – 20 minutes. Remove cover and simmer to desired consistency. (I like mine with less fluid, less soupy. Sometimes I make it with more broth left and a bit soupy. It is up to you. The key thing is to check for doneness of noodles when uncovering. Are they soft enough?)
Enjoy! If there are leftovers, just refrigerate them and reheat in microwave for about a minute. They are good.
Our cat, Baby loved these and sucked them down. Sometimes I made them for her when she wouldn’t eat. She was on insulin and I had to get her to eat, and she would eat almost an entire half- batch of them! We sure do miss her, funny girl! It felt strange eating without being pestered this morning.
Let me know if you try it, and if you like it. :O)