Are you surviving this ugly, ugly winter? Just barely? Me too.
Hey! I see you rolling your eyes…
The truth is that the desert floor is a funny thing; it’s completely impervious to water of any kind, be it monsoon- or man-made, but after the sun goes down it seems to draw into itself every single degree of ambient heat.
The desert is a cold, cold place without the sun and temperatures can swing up to thirty degrees in a 24 hour period. Which means you’re going to need a sweater. Or some legwarmers. And for sure an enormous bowl of hot soup.
You may know fideos as Spanish noodles, specifically, semolina pasta commonly sold cut or coiled. Fideos, especially the cut variety, are most often served in soup, which is what we’ve done here. Because we’re freezing cold!
There are a couple tricks to successful sopa de fideo. First, you want to create a flavor base with fresh produce. You could use canned tomatoes or canned chiles if you like, but I really like soup, especially a simpler one like this sopa, to have a nice, robust flavor, so I select fresh produce and sweat it together in a frying pan before puréeing.
And speaking of robust favor, we’re adding roasted poblano chiles to the mix. Because we’re freezing cold! And we live in the southwest!
The roasted poblano flesh brings a lovely smoky flavor to the table that kind of makes this soup, if I do say so myself.
Finally, you need to fry the fideos before you add them into your soup. Why? It gives them a nice, slightly nutty flavor. In addition, heating up the noodles before you add them to the soup allows them to soak up the flavors of the soup as soon as you add them.
So the soup is flavored. The noodles are flavored. And you’re no longer freezing cold.
We’re solving all kinds of problems today, people.
Green Chile Sopa de Fideo
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
6 plum Roma tomatoes, ends removed, rough chopped
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1- 7 oz. package cut fideos
4 c. unsalted chicken stock
2 c. water
salt to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until browned and fragrant, approximately 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato and chile pieces and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for just 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and process to a smooth consistency in a blender or food processor. Remove blended/processed mixture to a large Dutch oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in your skillet and sauté the noodles, stirring constantly (you’ll want to agitate the fideos throughout the time that they are frying so that the small, cut pieces brown evenly); sauté until deep golden brown, approximately 5 minutes, then add to the processed produce mixture. Stir in the stock and water, and season with salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for just 30 minutes more. Serve immediately.
YIELD: 6-8 servings