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How to Cook Sopas: A Creamy Filipino Macaroni Soup


Kerlyn is a proud Filipina who loves to share her culture with others, including recipes and more.

Sopas is a Filipino soup.

Sopas is a Filipino soup.

Sopas is one of those Filipino dishes that can be a complete meal in itself. It has vegetables, meat, pasta, and even milk.

An Easy-to-Make Dish

Unlike most complete meals, however, sopas is relatively easy to prepare. Give or take 30 minutes, you can cook the traditional Filipino sopas without much sweat, really. Here's a quick look at the recipe (more detailed instructions follow below):

  1. An honest-to-goodness Filipino sopas is cooked by boiling shreds of chicken meat in water seasoned with salt and pepper. Bones from chicken, pork, beef or even turkey can also be used as substitutes or supplements.
  2. Once the broth is brought to a boil, then you can add in your elbow macaroni and simmer it until al dente.
  3. Shredded cabbage and tidbits of carrots then go into the mix.
  4. When the veggies are done, then milk is poured in to make the broth creamy, white, and tasty.
  5. Everything simmers.
  6. Voila! Now, your sopas is done!

When to Cook This Dish

Filipinos are generally a bunch of penny-wise people who do not want to see their hard-earned foods go to waste. Thus, many Pinoys cook up sopas when they have some leftover bones from chicken, pork, beef, or even turkey. That’s right, you can make leftovers into a whole, new, wonderful dish—sopas!

Sopas is also excellent for those cold days when you want something warm for your tummy. By and large, however, Filipinos in the Philippines—where it is incredibly hot almost all year-round—cook sopas every day. We like to have it for breakfast, usually.

I so love sopas, though, that I can eat it for breakfast with my pandesal, for lunch with my rice, for snacks after I eat my banana cue, or for my light dinner.


The ingredients for making the typical sopas prepared by Filipinos are as follows:

  • 4 cups broth (broth comes from boiling and cooking shreds of meat or bones)
  • 1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped into tidbits
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil (you may want to make sure that you use only the oils that are good for the heart like olive oil or virgin coconut oil)
  • 1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni pasta, uncooked
  • fish sauce or patis in Filipino (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 medium-sized onion, minced
  • pepper
  • salt
  • 400 grams chicken shreds, cooked (OR leftover bones from chicken, beef, pork, or turkey, cooked)
  • 4 cups water


  1. Heat oil in a pot. Sauté garlic and onions. Add in cooked shredded chicken or leftover bones and cook even more until browned. Flavor the meat with fish sauce, pepper, and salt.
  2. Add in carrots and sauté.
  3. Pour broth into the sautéed meat and vegetables.
  4. Add the macaroni and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add in cabbage and cook.
  6. Add in more broth for a thick soup or water for a thin soup. More salt and pepper can also be sprinkled in to make the soup full of flavor.
  7. Remove pot from heat.
  8. Pour milk into the soup.


Hot Dogs

Filipinos love hot dogs so much that they put them into their Pinoy-style spaghetti, serve them in skewers for parties, and use them to make their everyday favorite sopas. Yes, hot dogs are used to make sopas colorful and even more appealing to kids!

To use hot dogs in sopas, cook hot dogs and cut them into small, round shapes. Add them in right before removing the pot from the stove or when the sopas is almost done. This stops the sopas from looking strangely reddish from the hot dogs’ juices.

Other Pasta

Another variation is using spaghetti noodles or other kinds of pasta for sopas. Really, it doesn't matter which pasta is used as long as the same delicious flavor is there.

© 2011 kerlynb


s.jane on December 16, 2013:

Wow. I love this.

I think it is delicious

I will try it today.

Thanks for posting this.

koko on March 14, 2013:

how long does it take

LYN on December 30, 2011:

it is so you my children like it

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 18, 2011:

@MsDora The bowl? What a coincidence :) Yes, sopas with carrots and cabbage is really great. I love my sopas with hotdogs though, LOL :D We Filipinos love hotdogs!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 18, 2011:

Wow! Your bowl is like mine. I just have to fill it with sopas like you have done with yours. I like the idea of cabbage and carrots in the mix. Thanks.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 18, 2011:

@MonetteforJack Now that's another variation - sopas with Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup :) Thanks for sharing! BTW, I like my sopas with hotdogs, LOL!

MonetteforJack from Tuckerton, NJ on October 18, 2011:

I make my sopas creamy also. One way of making it really creamy WITHOUT salt is using Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup. It's good! I voted everything and I did clicked funny because it gave me a good laugh with all the variations the Pinoys love doing. Lately, watching cooking channels, the variations are often called "deconstructed" weird. :D Good hub as always!

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 17, 2011:

@carcro You are so welcome! Thanks for the comment :)

Paul Cronin from Winnipeg on October 17, 2011:

Thanks for the recipes, they look delish, homemade is the best!

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 16, 2011:

@suzettenaples Hello! :) You're right there. Many of the foods in the Philippines are actually influences of the Spaniards. Of course, you know that there is also sopas in Spain and this sopas actually has lots of varieties :)

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 16, 2011:

@Arlynne LOL :D Oh, you're so right! Many Pinoys believe that garlic ward off the local aswang, manananggal, lamang lupa, etc. Lucky for me, I LOVE garlic, really. I like my longganisa and sinangag with loads of garlic :D

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 16, 2011:

@stylezink Awww, your mommy... :) I read your hub "Grieving: Losing my Mother" till the end. I wanted to comment but thought that I just couldn't say anything about the pain of losing a mom. Anyway, I learned from that hub that your mom was from the Philippines! :)

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on October 16, 2011:

kerlynb: I love your Filippino recipes. They look and sound so good. I can really begin to see the Spanish influence in Filippino cooking, with the name sopas. This dish has some yummy ingredients and does not look difficult to make. I will be trying this one! Another good hub! Voted up!

stylezink from Atlanta, GA. on October 16, 2011:

THANKS SO MUCH Keryln! I think it is the arroz caldo! I think I'm going to try that today since the weather is cooler now. My mother was a great cook! I miss her cooking so much I try to find recipes of the things she used to make. Thanks again for helping me out!

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 16, 2011:

@stylezink Hi! Perhaps you're referring to arroz caldo, lugaw, or goto. They are all very common in RP and similar in taste and even color :) Wow, your mom must have been a great cook!

stylezink from Atlanta, GA. on October 16, 2011:

Hi Kerlynb, I was wondering if you know of a similar soup dish like this but made with rice instead. I remember it being somewhat like a chicken porridge. I think it has minimal veggies in it and ginger. I remember my mom using left over chicken to make it but can't think of them name.

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 16, 2011:

@Arlynne - Hi there! Wow, I assume your mommy is a Pinay :)

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