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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sopa Seca

This is my second recipe from the cookbook of September, Food Network Kitchens cookbook. Zach picked out this recipe and I'm glad he did! Sopa Seca means "dry soup" in spanish and it's delicious! I'd describe it as a "mexican spaghetti". I really loved the spices and flavors of the sauce. The chipolte in adobo is dominant in the flavor profile, but not overwhelming. The flavors remind me of a nice big bowl of chili, but it's got the pasta to satisfy my inner carb-lover, the smoked turkey to satisfy my inner bacon-lover and the cheesy goodness on top to satisfy, well, anyone! Who doesn't like melted cheesy goodness?

I made a few changes/substitutions to accommodate what I had on hand or what I couldn't find in the store. I couldn't find fideos, and wanted to use whole wheat pasta, so I used whole wheat thin spaghetti that I snapped in half. I used beef broth since we had some open and chil-I powder instead of chil-E powder, since, again, that's what we had. I think you could definitely substitute in some sausage for the smoked turkey, maybe a fresh chorizo or andouille would work really well. I plan to do that the next time I make it. Also, I used 2% shredded mexican blend cheese, not straight cheddar. With the 2% cheese and whole wheat pasta, I hope it makes it a little more on the healthy side.

Sopa Seca
from Food Network Kitchens cookbook


* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for pan

* 12 ounces fideos, bundled vermicelli (I used thin spaghetti, broken in half.)

* 1 medium onion, chopped

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 teaspoon ground coriander

* 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

* 1 teaspoon New Mexican chile powder

* 1 bay leaf

* 1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes

* 1 to 2 chipotles en adobo sauce, minced

* 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade, or low-sodium canned (I used beef broth.)

* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

* Freshly ground black pepper

* 2 cups shredded smoked turkey

* 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

* Mexican crema, or sour cream thinned with a bit of milk, optional


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush a 9-inch square baking dish with oil. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fideos and cook, turning them with tongs, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bundles and any broken pieces to a plate.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, coriander, oregano, chili powder, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Crush the tomatoes over the pot with your hand and add them to the pot along with their juices. Add the chipotles, increase the heat to high, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, the toasted fideos, salt, and pepper, to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, breaking up the fideos with a spoon, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the turkey.

Remove the bay leaf. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, and cover loosely with foil. Bake until the cheese melts and the casserole is hot through and through, about 20 minutes. If desired, serve with some crema drizzled over the top.

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