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Spicy Mexican Fideo Soup with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes – Ready in 30 Minutes!

In the traditional local eateries called “fondas” in Mexico, diners can enjoy simple and comforting dishes at affordable prices. A typical three-course lunch at these family-run restaurants can cost as little as a few dollars.

Sopa de fideos is a popular soup in these fondas, featuring thin noodles browned in oil and simmered in a puree of chicken broth with roasted tomato, onion, garlic, and jalapeño. The result is a smoky, spicy vegetarian soup that can easily serve as a full meal and can be prepared in less than half an hour using basic pantry ingredients.

This recipe, taken from “Cook What You Have,” a book that offers simple weeknight meals using pantry staples, uses canned fire-roasted tomatoes to mimic the traditional roasted tomato flavors in the soup.

If you only have regular canned tomatoes (whole or diced), they will work but won’t provide the same smoky flavor. Vermicelli or capellini pasta can be used in this recipe, but the noodles should be broken to make toasting them easier. Simply place them in a zip-top plastic bag, seal, and then snap them into 1- to 2-inch pieces.

Common toppings for this soup include chopped fresh cilantro, red onion, diced avocado, crumbled tortilla chips, and crumbled queso fresco, all of which add color and texture to the dish. Using any combination or all of them will enhance the flavors of the soup.

Mexican Noodle Soup with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6


½ medium white OR yellow onion, halved
3 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 jalapeño chilies, 1 stemmed, halved and seeded, 1 stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
14½-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes OR diced tomatoes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces vermicelli OR capellini, broken into 1- to 2-inch pieces
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth


In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, the halved jalapeño, tomatoes with juices and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping the jar as needed; set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the noodles and cook, tossing often with tongs, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully stir in the puree and the broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, uncovered, and stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the sliced jalapeño.

Optional garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro, chopped red onion, diced avocado, crumbled tortilla chips, crumbled queso fresco, or a combination.

Get more recipes and dinner ideas from The Globeblognews food section.

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