• Prep Time
    20 Mins
  • Cook Time
    0 Mins
  • Total Time
    20 Mins
  • The base number of servings for this recipe is 2
    OK

    Aarón Sánchez's Sopa Seca

    When you think of Mexican cuisine your first thought is likely not pasta, but Aarón Sanchez' Sopa Seca might make you think again.  According to Aarón, sopa seca - which means dry soup - is a foreign food that's been given "a Latin twist, subbing cilantro for basil, cotija or queso fresco for Parmesan, and spice for subtlety."  A homemade roasted tomato-chile de arbol salsa gives this dishtraditional in many  Mexican families' Easter celebrations, a fresh kick of flavor.

    Aarón Sánchez, the son of celebrated Mexican cookbook author, Zarela Martinez, is chef of Mestizo by Aarón Sánchez near Kansas City, and is host of the Food Network's Heat Seekers, Chefs vs. City, Chopped, and Best Thing I Ever Ate as well as the new series, Motochefs, on Utilisima.


    Ingredients
    For the Pasta
    1/4
    cup
    canola oil
    1
    cup
    small shaped pasta such as melon seeds, orzo, or alphabets
    1/2
    cup
    Roasted Tomato-Chile de Árbol Salsa, recipe below
    2
    cups
    chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
    1
    tablespoon
    chopped fresh cilantro
    1
    handful
    shredded cotija or queso fresco (preferably Cacique brand), or pecorino, Parmesan, or lightly salty feta
    For the Roasted Tomato-Chile de Árbol Salsa
    1
    pound
    plum tomatoes (about 4)
    3
    to 6 chiles de árbol, depending on how spicy you like it
    2
    tablespoons
    Olive Oil
    1
    medium white onion, chopped
    4
    cloves
    garlic, crushed
    1/2
    cup
    chopped fresh cilantro
    1
    teaspoon
    salt
    1/2
    teaspoon
    freshly ground black pepper
    Directions
    To make the salsa: Preheat the boiler. Put the tomatoes on a baking sheet and broil, until the tomatoes are nice and charred, 10 to 12 minutes.
    Take the tomatoes out, let them cool just until you can handle them, slip off the skins, and cut out the tough cores. Transfer the tomatoes to a big bowl (don’t you dare forget the tomato juice that has leaked out and reduced to awesomeness on the baking sheet), then roughly chop them.
    While the tomatoes are broiling, heat a dry skillet over medium heat and toast the chiles (in batches, if necessary), flipping them over occasionally, until they just begin to smoke, about 5 minutes. Set them aside in a bowl.
    Put the olive oil, onion, and garlic in a saucepan, set it over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes. Add the toasted chiles, tomatoes and 2 cups of water, bring to a simmer and cook for another 12 minutes, so the flavors come together. Let it cool a bit.
    Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper and puree until the mixture is very smooth.
    Pour the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
    Store the salsa in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to a week, or in the freezer for a month.
    Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or medium pot over medium-high heat until it ripples. Add the pasta and cook, stirring constantly, until the pasta is golden, about 3 minutes.
    Scoop out and discard 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the Roasted Tomato-Chile de Árbol Salsa and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time. Pour in the chicken stock and let the liquid come to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook, stirring once in a while, until the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
    Divide the pasta between two bowls and garnish with the cilantro and cheese.
    Reprinted With Permission From Reprinted with permission from Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican Food Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours, © 2011 by Atria Books

    The base number of servings for this recipe is 2
    OK

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