Sopa De Letras, or alphabet soup, is a delicious and hearty tomato-based Mexican soup that’s packed with flavor. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal when you’re craving a big bowl of comfort food. It’s a breeze to put together (it’s finished in 20 minutes!), it’s vegan, and you can make a big batch and freeze it! Side note: You’ll be looking for words in every spoonful.
What is Sopa De Letras?
This Mexican soup is made with toasted alphabet pasta, a few vegetables, spices, and veggie broth. It’s an incredibly simple recipe that’s ready in a heartbeat, making it perfect for those days when you don’t even have time to think. I got this recipe from my friend Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, who just published it in her new cookbook Muy Bueno: Fiestas. PS If you love easy, approachable, super tasty Mexican food, you should check out the book. Her recipes are incredible!
Ingredients For Sopa De Letras
This soup is so easy that it only takes a few steps to make it! So, if you’re ready for a filling and simple recipe perfect for busy days, here’s what you need to make Sopa De Letras:
- Alphabet pasta – you can find this tiny pasta shaped like letters in the Latin food aisle of most grocery stores. Substitute it with any small pasta, like ditalini, cous cous, star-shaped pasta (to make Sopa De Estrellitas) or vermicelli (to make Sopa de Fideo).
- Roma Tomatoes- Make up the base of the broth. Their tangy, savory deliciousness deepens the flavor. You can substitute with 1 pound of any fresh tomato or a 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes.
- Onions and Garlic – are aromatics that add complexity and an earthy sweetness. Sub the onion with 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder and the garlic with 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Vegetable broth – makes this soup vegan, but feel free to use chicken broth if that’s what you have on hand.
Toppings for Sopa De Letras
You can enjoy your soup as is or add a few tasty toppings to kick things up a notch!
- Sour cream or yogurt adds richness and tang to the soup.
- Shredded cheese adds a bit of creaminess and flavor.
- Cilantro adds herbaceousness and a pop of color to the soup.
- Lime wedges add acidity and brightness to the soup.
- Hot sauce or chile flakes add a bit of heat and spice to the soup.
- Chopped Avocado adds bulk and creaminess.
What To Serve With Sopa De Letras
To make this soup a heartier meal, add a few sides. Try serving it with Cilantro Lime Rice, Homemade Garlic Bread, or Southwest Salad with Taco Ranch Dressing. If you want to use the soup as an appetizer, finish the meal with Black Bean Avocado Enchiladas, Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, or our Southwest Chicken Skillet.
How To Store Sopa De Letras
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Then reheat it on the stove or in a microwave. The pasta will soak up much of the broth, so you may want to add more veggie broth before reheating. If you’re going to make this to freeze it, I recommend making and freezing the broth. Then, when you’re reheating the broth, toast the pasta and add it in.
Sopa De Letras
- 1/2 white onion, quartered $0.33
- 3 Roma tomatoes, quartered $1.35
- 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped $0.07
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper $0.02
- 2 cups vegetable broth $0.37
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
- 7 oz alphabet pasta $4.42
- 2 cups water $0.01
- 1/4 tsp salt (or more to taste) $0.01
- In a blender, combine the onion, tomatoes, garlic, pepper, and veggie broth and purée until smooth.
- In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the alphabet pasta and heat, stirring, until lightly toasted, 1–2 minutes.
- Add the puréed mixture, stir well, and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and darkens, about 5 minutes.
- Add the water, stir well, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Season with salt, ladle into bowls, and serve.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Sopa De Letras – Step by Step Photos
In a blender, combine the 1/2 white onion, 3 Roma tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 cups of veggie broth. Purée until smooth.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the 7 ounces of alphabet pasta and heat, stirring, until lightly toasted, 1–2 minutes.
Add the puréed mixture, stir well, and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and darkens, about 5 minutes.
Add the 2 cups of water, stir well, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt, ladle into bowls, and serve. Was that easy or what?! I hope you get a chance to enjoy it in peace without your kid freaking out about the poster board they need for a school project that’s due tomorrow but forgot to tell you about. #momlife
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