You know how certain foods can bring up specific memories? If you’re Mexican, chances are that you were raised eating Sopa de Estrellitas, or Mexican Star Soup. Every Mexican mom makes it. Whenever I eat it, I’m instantly transported back to my childhood. I remember my mom and my abuelita. No fancy stoves with self timers. No refrigerator that played music or had built-in TVs. Their kitchens were humble, but there, they created the most amazing foods.
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Sopa de Estrellitas, or Mexican Star Soup, starts with fresh tomatoes. Don’t these beautiful, ripe tomatoes look delicious? If tomatoes aren’t in season, or they don’t look particularly good at the store: Use 1 – 8oz can of tomato sauce and 8 cups of chicken broth so it won’t be as tomato-y. The soup will taste just as delicious.
“Estrella” means “star” in Spanish. If you can’t find this star pasta with all the other pastas, look for it in the Hispanic / Mexican section. It’s usually very inexpensive (unlike getting a Hollywood Boulevard star). This Sopa de Estrellitas, or Mexican Star Soup, is perfect for feeding big families. We have big families in Mexico. My father is one of 10 children. My mom is one of 6 children. “Be fruitful and multiply” was taken seriously. No joke.
The most important step to making Sopa de Estrellitas, or Mexican Star Soup, is for you to toast the pasta. This means, don’t leave the stove. Stir the pasta constantly or it will burn. After all, no one wants their soup to taste like burned yuckiness. When you see the pasta turn a golden color, then move onto the next step.
I’m giving you the most basic recipe for Sopa de Estrellitas, or Mexican Star Soup. Be creative and add all kinds of stuff. Let me give you some ideas: leftover chicken, green beans, peas and carrots, mushrooms, broccoli. All of these suggestions would make great additions to the soup! Garnish it with cilantro or queso panela. This simple recipe is a Mexican classic. A favorite comfort food that reminds us why nothing is better than home cooking.
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 package of star pasta
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ onion, diced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- In a blender add the tomatoes, garlic, and some of the chicken broth (just enough to blend everything).
- Blend until smooth.
- Set aside.
- In a stock pot, heat the olive oil.
- Add the pasta, stirring constantly.
- When the pasta turns golden brown, add the onions.
- Stir for 1 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Immediately add the tomato mixture and the remaining chicken broth.
- Taste for salt.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and let simmer gently for 8-10 minutes, or until pasta is soft.
- Serve and enjoy!