Fideos are a household staple for Latin-American families across the country and it rivals a pressure-cooked pot of beans in ease. Growing up, we ate my mom’s variation of the dish that was affectionately referred to as sopita. Her “little soup” consisted of noodles in a tomato-chicken broth and we would slurp it up on weekdays when life was too busy for the slow-simmered stews that we loved.
What I’ve been making lately is a fideo seco. It’s even less finicky to make than the noodle soup my mom made and is a versatile base for whatever fresh veggies or toppings I may have around.
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 package of fideos (or spaghetti broken up into 1” pieces)
1/2 can of tomatoes (crushed or diced)*
water or broth
salt & pepper
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)*
red onion slices
Heat up oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add fideos and fry till they start to brown. Add your tomatoes and cook a little more. Add just enough water to cover the noodles. Salt & pepper to taste. Cook until all the liquid is gone. Divide into bowls and top with black beans, red onion, avocado & lime juice.
* You can substitute equal portions of fresh pureed tomatoes or black beans if you have them on hand.
I chose to use this meal as part of the Capital Area Food Bank’s Hunger Awareness Challenge because it can be made exclusively with pantry items and topped off with inexpensive SNAP-approved toppings. AND…if it’s the end of the month, when pantries and Lonestar cards run bare, you can make a portion for 4-6 people for well under $5.
The addition of beans takes it from snack to a full-size meal and helps to stretch the single package of fideos for more portions. It works like a salad, really, so topping off with whatever you have on hand can help make sure that those 1/4 onions and 1/2 cukes get used up.
Some other suggestions for toppings would be:
Jalapeños or serranos
Cabbage or lettuce
Pinto beans or garbanzos
Pickled red onions