Last week I made pasta for the very first time. I always thought making pasta was one of the most difficult things but it turned out to be a very easy task that now I am contemplating getting a pasta machine. We shall see. But, what did I make with my pasta? I got a big batch of pasta so I divided in two. I made spicy ravioli with the first half (I will be blogging about it soon) and I made some kind of fat fettuccine with the other half. I first was thinking about making some kind of fettuccine Alfredo, but since the temperatures dropped suddenly in this part of the world I decided to make sopa aguada.
Soup is a staple dish in Mexico. We almost always eat soup before our main dish. I probably have to explain here that in Mexico our eating times are different than in the USA. When it comes to food we are very similar to hobbits (yes, those little Middle-Earth creatures) There is desayuno (breakfast) first thing in the morning, almuerzo (second breakfast) at mid morning, comida (lunch) between 1pm and 3pm, cena (dinner) probably around 7 or 8pm and merienda (second dinner) before bed. Not everybody eats 5 times a day, of course, but the main meal of the day that nobody misses is lunch. And a good comida always comes with soup, rice with eggs sometimes, beans, tortillas, fruit juice or a coke, a main course and a small dessert.
Comida was the busiest meal at my parents restaurant where for a couple of dollars you got all of the above. That kind of restaurant is known in Mexico as a fonda and the meal as comida corrida (roughly translated current or flowing meal, sorry I couldn’t find any other better translation) The soup was almost always a sopa aguada de pasta or pasta soup. This kind of soup is very easy to make and it is the perfect start for your comida.
All you have to do is fry some pasta in a large pot. In the meantime blend tomato, onion and garlic and add to the pasta once it starts turning brown. Add chicken broth to make it watery (aguada means watery), salt, pepper, oregano and crushed peppers if you want to make it spicy. Cover and let it simmer until the pasta is soft. Serve with cilantro, cheese and avocado and you have your first course of the evening. This soup is so popular that there are several companies that make special pasta for soup.
Next time you are in Mexico and visit a fonda make sure you get your sopa aguada before any other course.