Sopa de Fideo (Mexican Noodle Soup) Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Sopa de Fideo (Mexican Noodle Soup)

Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
Sopa de fideo is a Mexican noodle soup made with nutty, toasted fideo noodles and a seasoned tomato broth. This simple soup recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes, but tastes like it's been simmered on the stovetop all day.

Updated: Jul. 21, 2024

Sopa de fideo is a traditional Mexican tomato noodle soup flavored with cumin and chili powder. It’s easy to make with simple aromatics and basic spices, but it relies on a special technique that sets it apart from other soup recipes. If you’re a fan of Mexican soups, it’s definitely worth it to learn how to make sopa de fideo.

What is sopa de fideo?

Sopa de fideo is a simple comfort dish with thin, short noodles and a flavorful tomato-tinged chicken broth (fideo is Spanish for “noodles”). However, the noodles are treated differently than most homemade soups. Instead of adding the noodles to the pot near the end of the cooking time, this recipe starts by toasting the noodles in hot oil. This technique gives the dish a savory, nutty quality that helps it stand out.

Sopa de Fideo Ingredients

ingredients for Sopa De Fideo—aka Mexican Noodle SoupTMB Studio

  • Fideo noodles: These thin, 1-inch-long noodles look like broken vermicelli or angel hair pasta. In fact, that’s exactly what they are. If you can’t find fideo noodles, feel free to break thin spaghetti noodles into 1-inch pieces. You can also use alphabet noodles when making this sopa de fideo recipe for kids.
  • Tomatoes, onions and garlic: Blending canned tomatoes with onion, garlic and seasonings creates a rich tomato sauce.
  • Chicken broth: The broth thins out the tomato sauce to create the soup’s rich flavor base. Traditional recipes use Knorr chicken flavor bouillon, but the soup tastes even better when made with homemade chicken broth.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder and ground cumin add a smoky, slightly spicy flavor to the soup.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a burst of color and freshness to the rich soup. If you’re not a cilantro fan, feel free to omit it.

Directions

Step 1: Toast the noodles

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the noodles and cook them, stirring, until they’re lightly browned, three to four minutes.

Step 2: Prep the sauce

food processor with tomatoes, onion, garlic and seasoningsTMB Studio

Meanwhile, place tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt and cumin in a blender. Cover and blend them until they’re smooth.

Step 3: Add the broth

pouring broth into blended tomato soup baseTMB Studio

Pour the tomato mixture over the toasted noodles. Add the broth, and bring the soup to a boil.

Step 4: Simmer and serve the soup

Reduce the heat and simmer the soup, uncovered, until the noodles are tender, five to seven minutes. Garnish the soup with cilantro before serving.

Recipe Variations

  • Add vegetables: To make sopa de fideo with potatoes, zucchini, or bell peppers, toast the fideo noodles as instructed. Remove the noodles from the Dutch oven, and add your chopped veggies. Saute them until they’re tender, then return the noodles to the Dutch oven and proceed as directed.
  • Include beans: When you add the broth, add a can of drained and rinsed black beans, pinto beans or kidney beans for some extra substance.
  • Make it meaty: Make sopa de fideo with ground beef by cooking the meat in the Dutch oven before toasting the noodles. You can also add cooked meat like shredded chicken when adding the broth.
  • Use additional garnishes: Top each bowl of sopa de fideo with a fried egg, a dollop of sour cream, queso fresco cheese, avocado slices or crisp tortilla chips to give the soup a chicken tortilla soup vibe.

How to Store Sopa de Fideo

Store leftover sopa de fideo in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for up to four days, but the noodles will become soft and soggy after about two days.

Can you make sopa de fideo ahead of time?

You can make sopa de fideo ahead of time, but make sure to avoid overcooking the noodles. The noodles will become soft and soggy as they sit in the refrigerator, so it’s better to slightly undercook them when making sopa de fideo in advance. Remove the soup from the stovetop just before the noodles reach an al dente texture. They will continue to soften as the soup cools.

Sopa de Fideo Tips

What nationality is fideo?

Fideo is a traditional Mexican dish. It’s most similar to sopa de estrellitas and sopa de letras (star soup and alphabet soup, respectively).

Is fideo the same as spaghetti?

Compositionally, fideo is the same as spaghetti, since they are both wheat noodles. The major difference is that fideo noodles are much shorter—about an inch long.

Can you make fideo with ground beef?

If you’d like to add ground beef to sopa de fideo, start by browning it in the Dutch oven. After it’s mostly cooked through (about five minutes), add the noodles and proceed with the recipe as written.

Sopa de Fideo (Mexican Noodle Soup)

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 8 servings (2 quarts)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces uncooked fideo noodles or uncooked angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add noodles; cook and stir until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place tomatoes, onion, garlic and seasonings in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour over noodles. Add broth; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until noodles are tender, 5-7 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 160 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 896mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

This quick and easy soup offers fresh flavors, even though canned tomatoes are used. If you can't find fideo, a thin Mexican noodle, angel hair pasta is a fine substitute. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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