Sopa Seca de Fideo
Sopa Seca de Fideo, translated “dry soup with noodles”, is comfort food bar none. It’s not soup, it’s called a “dry soup” because the noodles absorb all of the wonderful rich stock, making the noodles taste more delicious than you can possibly imagine.
The dish is made with thin noodles, angel hair pasta or vermicelli. My mother makes this dish at least once a month and we were raised just calling it by the noodle name, vermicelli. All you have to do is say that word and the collective eyes of our family light up with glee.
Although it can be made with straight noodles, we always make fideo with the twirled nests. It’s pretty, and easier to serve that way, one nest, one serving. The dish can be used as an alternative to Spanish Rice in accompanying a meal.
The trick to a great sopa seca de video is the chicken broth. Over the hundreds of times we’ve made this dish over the last fifty years we’ve used bouillon, boxed broth, and homemade chicken stock. While bouillon and the boxes work in a pinch, nothing beats homemade stock for this recipe. It brings a richness that can’t be had any other way. So if you try it, I strongly urge you to use homemade stock!
- 1/2 lb vermicelli (angel hair nests). Vermicelli usually comes in 1 lb packages, so about 1/2 a package.
- 1/4 cup olive or canola oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1/2 cup crushed canned tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
1 In a 9-inch frying pan (with lid), fry the vermicelli on both sides in hot oil until golden brown in color. Remove from pan.
2 In the same oil, brown the minced onion, add the chopped tomato. Add chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3 Bring the broth mixture to a simmer. When broth is simmering, place the angel hair nests in a single layer in the pan, nestled into the broth. The nests should cover the whole pan. Turn them over in the broth so that they get moistened on all sides. Cover and cook until the vermicelli has soaked up the liquid, about 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes the top of the vermicelli is dry, flip over the individual angel hair nests and cook a minute longer. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.