Soups and Salads — By Ben on 01 May 2008
Sopa Aguada – Pasta Soup


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.

Buen provecho!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(17) Readers Comments

  1. This looks really hearty! I’ve never seen pasta “fried” before. Good on you for making your own pasta Ben! That’s a feat. (I have seen cheap pasta machines on sale at Ross’s by the way. I nearly bought one but couldn’t be bothered with the whole security thing coming back to Australia).

  2. That soup looks good. I like the idea of frying the fresh noodles.

  3. I have never fried pasta before, and it sounds intriguing. Do you put oil in the pot first?

  4. 5 meals a day? and a multi-course lunch every day? i’m in the wrong country. :)

  5. this looks delicious! I too have never fried pasta

    Dell :) xo

  6. Ben, Five meals a day is the way to go! The soup looks delicious, simple and appealing.

  7. Ben, I want to move to Mexico! Between the beauty, the warmth and 5 meals a day I’d be in paradise!

    I have never heard of frying fresh un-cooked pasta, very intriguing. I have cooked fresh pasta THEN fried it in butter/oil but never the other way around. I imagine it gives the noodles a slightly chewy and denser texture? I have never made homemade pasta but this concept is very appealing to me and I love how you build a soup on top of the fried pasta.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. This looks like just the soup to make me feel better. I’ve been sick for a few days and if I want soup, I think I’ll have to make it myself, hehe.

    Side note–I’ve never made pasta before, it’s scary, hehe. my 11 year old daughter just started cooking classes, and the first day? They made pasta! I was totally impressed. So now she can teach me. :)

  9. I’m always amazed!!! I would never have thought of frying the pasta first but it would be great that way and then build the flavours over top of that. I like that idea. Your explanation of how Mexicans eat is probably more healthy – 5 meals a day and I’ll bet they’re all smaller meals except for the midday one.

  10. See, you are the Mexican Dynamo…making, frying and using pasta in a soup!

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