Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mexican Noodle Soup (Sopa de Fideo)

This soup is generally served as part of a multi-course meal.  Traditionally, it is simply pasta in tomato broth, no vegetables added.  However, last night we found some vegetables in the fridge and texturized vegetable protein in the cabinet, and we turned this soup into a meal.

Texturized vegetable protein (also known as TVP) is surprisingly easy to find in Mexico--more so than in the United States.  It's sold as "soya" in natural food stores in the Mexico City metro or in the bulk foods section of your local grocery store.

  • 5 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4  medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 dried chile de arbol OR 1-2 jalepeños
  • 3 cups water plus more for blending
  • 1 200-gram bag small pasta, uncooked
  • 1/8 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1-2 stalks fresh epazote (1 teaspoon dried) OR 2 stalks fresh parsely
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped (optional)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup texturized vegetable protein (TVP)
  1. Quarter tomatoes and put them in a blender with the onion, chile, and garlic.  Add enough water to cover the tomatoes.  Blend until liquified.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil.  Add the pasta and fry, stirring constantly until it begins to brown.  As soon as it begins to brown, add 3 cups water and contents of blender.  Stir to make sure no pasta is sticking to the pot.
  3. Add epazote or parsely.  Add vegetables and TVP, if using.
  4. Cook until pasta and vegetables are thoroughly cooked and TVP is re-hydrated.
  5. Serve with warm corn tortillas.
Serves 4.

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