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Fideo: A Mexican Toasted Pasta Tomato Soup

Ms. Venegas experiments with Mexican foods under the critique of her Mexican husband. The recipes need to pass a "when I was a kid" test.

Mexican fideo soup.

Mexican fideo soup.

Many Mexican foods are skillfully enhanced with a toasted or lightly fried starter. Brown the tortillas, refry the beans, oven-blacken the peppers, chilis, or tomatoes— these are among the Mexican cook's culinary secrets.

In this soup, called fideo, angel hair pasta gets the toasting treatment. Pan-toasting adds an extra depth to the dish. Complete the meal with vegetable garnishes and tortillas.

This soup recipe was passed on to me from my sisters-in-law. It is a recipe from a Mexican-American kitchen of the 1970s, where Grandma Cuca cooked for 13 children. Today, the grandkids, all of whom are now adults, use social media to comment about how much they still enjoy making and eating Grandma Cuca's fideo.

This soup will become an instant favorite with every child in your household, as well.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

Serves 4 peoople


  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and/or lard
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 7 to 8 ounces angel hair pasta, cut into small pieces
  • 16 to 32 ounces chicken broth
  • Knorr tomato bouillon, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • water (optional)

Pick your favorite garnishes:

  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • green onion or chives
  • radishes, sliced
  • cheese
  • sour cream
  • hot sauce


  1. Heat oil in medium-hot pan.
  2. Add chopped onion and garlic and heat until fragrant.
  3. Add broken angel hair pasta and allow it to toast while gently stirring to avoid burning.
  4. When pasta is lightly toasted, pour in around 2 tablespoons tomato sauce and let it brown and turn a rich dark red.
  5. After you see enough browning of all the ingredients, add enough chicken broth to loosen brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Now add the remaining tomato sauce and chicken broth and/or water to cover the pasta. Cover with about 1 inch of liquid.
  7. Simmer, gently stir, and test pasta until soft to your liking. Do not overcook.
  8. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of broth and ice cubes to help stop further cooking. Serve before broth is absorbed into the pasta.

Finishing the Fideo

Adding enough water and broth is necessary if your goal is to serve a tomato soup for lunch or a light dinner with a taco. Some like the thickened version the next day as a side with refried beans and a tamale.

Use a mixture of tomato sauce and broth to be added the next day if you want the spoon version.

Photo Guide

Chop onion and garlic.

Chop onion and garlic.

Heat oil in medium-hot pan.

Heat oil in medium-hot pan.

Garnish the completed fideo with whatever you prefer.

Garnish the completed fideo with whatever you prefer.


  • Use water if you do not have broth on hand.
  • Add bits of kale or spinach while cooking the pasta.
  • The pasta will absorb all the broth if not eaten immediately.
  • For a complete meal, pour the soup over a hot tamale.
  • Sprinkle with bits of chopped carne asada, carnitas, or ground beef.

Was This Recipe a Hit at Your Table?

Mexican Fideo Is Not Offered at Many Restaurants

© 2019 Sherry Venegas