Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Second Shot at Soup

True story: I was all geared up to write a post about Bill's favorite chicken tortilla soup (which I made last week) and then I realized I'd written that post before. A year ago. No wonder Bill had been begging me to make a batch!

Good thing I have a backlog of dishes I haven't written about yet. And the next one on my list wasn't a far cry from what I'd originally planned to write about. This sopa seca (or dry soup) jumped out at me from my Food Network Favorites cookbook. I loved that it's a cross between a soup and a casserole and sort of blurs the line between Italian and Mexican. I was also intrigued because it sounded like a version of spaghetti pie, which Tiff just recently introduced me to when she brought it to our Super Bowl party a couple weeks ago. And Tiff, your spaghetti pie was very good, but you have GOT to try this recipe!

I made some modifications from the original, most notably in substituting regular vermicelli for the fideos (or vermicelli bundles). You try finding fideos in a Midwestern grocery store. It's impossible. And don't even think about asking one of the high school boys in the aisle. I'm quite sure he'd have no idea. My substitution was just fine (at least as far as I can tell, but I've never had another sopa seca to make a fair comparison). If you have, please weigh in!

Sopa Seca (Dry Soup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 oz. vermicelli, broken
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed
1 to 2 chipotle chilis in adobo, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-heat heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, chili powder, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes along with their juices. Add chipotles, increase heat to high, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, vermicelli, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken.

Remove bay leaf. Transfer mixture to baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, and cover loosely with foil. Bake until cheese melts, about 20 minutes. Let stand several minutes before serving.


  1. Wow, that does look amazing... definitely adding it to the list to try out :-)

  2. I was gobsmacked by "spaghetti pie". Where has that been all my life!? Come to think of it, where has the Italian/Mexian hybrid been? That sounds pretty genius. And of course, any sort of soup I'll eat. Possibly even make. Because how hard can a soup be to screw up? Don't tell me.. it's harder than it looks, I'm sure ;)

    1. Really! Soup is probably the easiest thing on Earth to make, right next to toast. I promise. It's really hard to screw up a soup recipe.