Family friend Bob Medina prepared Fideo for me for the first time recently, and I fell in love with it.
Sopa de Fideo is a Mexican pasta and tomato soup. What makes it special is the toasted spaghetti noodles that add a little extra depth of flavor compared with everyday noodle soup.
Fideo is usually found in Mexican homes as a midday meal and in small family restaurants in Mexico called fondas. Many food historians will argue that it’s also part of the cuisine of the Philippines and some will tell you that the dish originated in Spain.
My older brother was recently in the hospital and our family spent several nights in the waiting room. Many of our friends brought food for us because we did not want to leave the hospital just in case something happened. And believe me, my friends, there was a lot of food but one dish stood out from all others and that was the Fideo brought to us from Bob Medina.
Now I am talking comfort food but more than that, to see everyone gathered around a waiting room table and enjoying this dish took our minds away from the pain my brother was going through.
I enjoyed the dish so much I had to go back in my kitchen and prepare the recipe. I was also thinking I could add some red bell peppers and chicken to this dish.
When I was preparing the Fideo, it reminded me of preparing risotto, this time toasting the pasta instead. Just recently. I added some corn and potatoes and garnished with avocado slices and a lime wedge and it was absolutely fantastic. You can also substitute spaghetti broken into 1” pieces if you are unable to get Fideo.
I also like to add a little crushed red pepper and cumin for more flavor. It’s funny how I discover new recipes sometimes but in the end, it always has to do with family and friends.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have with my family, and I hope you share it with others. Isn’t that what it’s all about? And just a little side note, for those of you who have been asking and sending prayers and thoughts, my brother is doing great and recovering well. Thank you to all for your thoughts, love and prayers.
Sopa de Fideo
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 white onion, minced
8 ounces fideo, or spaghetti broken into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
16 ounces tomato sauce
8 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeño split, optional
2 limes cut into wedges for garnish
In a 3-quart pot, add olive oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and sauté. Add fideo or broken spaghetti and sauté until it is lightly toasted. Add garlic and remove from heat. Add tomato sauce and place back on stove and then add chicken broth. If using a jalapeño pepper, add it to the pot now (this gives a slight jalapeño flavor without too much heat). Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium high and allow it to come to a boil. Let the pot simmer for about 15 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Serve with lime wedge on the side.
Chef Jasper J. Mirabile Jr. of Jasper’s runs his family’s 64-year-old restaurant with his brother. Mirabile is a culinary instructor, founding member of Slow Food Kansas City and a national board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food. He is host to many famous chefs on his weekly radio show “Live! From Jasper’s Kitchen” on KCMO 710 AM and 103.7 FM. He also sells dressings and sauces.