Sopa de Fideo

$4.11 recipe / $0.69 serving

Hola friends! Late last night I flew back home from my vacation in Mexico and I couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen today. One of my wonderful readers suggested Sopa de Fideo to me a couple weeks ago and I thought this would be an appropriate time to give it a try (kind of like a final celebration of all the wonderful things I saw and experienced in Mexico).

This incredibly simple soup is easy to make, full of flavor, and (of course) inexpensive. What makes it special is the toasted vermicelli noodles that add a little extra depth of flavor compared to your every day noodle soup. There are a million ways to make Sopa de Fideo, so I put my own spin on it with a little cumin, lime juice, and fresh cilantro (because I LOVE lime in soup). If you want to make this soup a little heartier, you can add some shredded chicken, or store bought rotisserie chicken. If you want to have fun with toppings, try a few chunks of avocado, some crumbled queso fresco, or even a few tortilla chips. I ate mine plain and simple as described below and loved every spoonful!

Sopa de Fideo (noodle soup)

Sopa de Fideo

5.0 from 14 reviews
Sopa de Fideo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $4.11
Cost Per Serving: $0.69
Serves: 6 (1.5 cups each)
  • 1 medium onion $0.41
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.04
  • 8 oz. uncooked vermicelli noodles $0.75
  • ½ tsp cumin $0.05
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes $1.39
  • 6 cups chicken broth $0.79
  • 1 medium jalapeño (optional) $0.05
  • 1 medium lime $0.25
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro (optional) $0.22
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic so they are ready to go when needed.
  2. Add the vegetable oil to a large soup pot. Break the vermicelli noodles into one to two inch sections and then add them to the pot. Cook the dry noodles in the oil over medium-low heat while constantly stirring for 3-5 minutes, or until the noodles have turned golden brown and are slightly blistered.
  3. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, and cumin to the pot with the noodles and continue to cook and stir for a few minutes more, or until the onions have softened.
  4. Add a little of the juice from the can of tomatoes to the pot to stop the browning of the noodles. Use a blender or immersion blender to purée the canned tomatoes along with their remaining juices. Add the puréed tomatoes to the pot with the noodles, along with the six cups of chicken broth.
  5. If using a jalapeño pepper, add it to the pot whole (this gives a slight jalapeño flavor without too much heat). Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium high, and allow it to come to a boil. Let the pot simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the noodles are soft.
  6. Add lime juice and roughly chopped cilantro leaves to the finished soup just before serving (I used juice from half the lime, but adjust to your liking).

Sopa de Fideo


Step by Step Photos

Dice Onion Mince GarlicFirst I diced one onion and minced two cloves of garlic. You can use a white or yellow onion here, whichever you have or prefer. I wanted these to be chopped and ready to go when I needed to add them to the pot. The next step of browning the noodles can go quickly, so you need to be prepared in order to prevent burning the noodles.

Browned VermicelliAdd two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large soup pot. Break 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) of vermicelli noodles into one to two inch sections. Add them to the pot and cook while stirring over medium-low heat for a few minutes, or until the noodles are golden brown like this. Aim for about half of the noodles being browned because they may brown slightly more in the next step.

Soft OnionsOnce the noodles look brown and a little blistered, add the pre-chopped onions, garlic, and cumin. Continue to cook while stirring for a few minutes more while the onions soften (the cumin will also toast a little in the process). The moisture released from the onions should slow down the browning of the noodles and keep them from going too far.

Canned Whole TomatoesNext it’s time to purée the canned tomatoes. Why use whole tomatoes if you’re just going to purée them anyway? Rumor has it (that just means I forgot where I heard it) that the better tomatoes are used for “whole” canned tomatoes, while the poorer quality tomatoes are used for diced or crushed tomatoes. I don’t know if that’s true, but we’ll go with it today. Anyway… 

Blend TomatoesAdd a little of the juice from one 28-oz. can of whole tomatoes to the soup pot with the noodles to stop them from browning. Then add the rest (tomatoes and juices) to a blender and blend until they are puréed. I left mine just slightly chunky. Add the puréed tomatoes to the pot.

Better Thank BouillonAlso add 6 cups of chicken broth. I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth because it’s less expensive than canned broth and I can mix up any amount that I need. The little jar just sits in my fridge ready for whenever I need broth. (1 tsp chicken base + 1 cup water = 1 cup broth)

JalapeñoLastly, add one WHOLE jalapeño to the pot. Why whole? It infuses the soup with a little jalapeño flavor without much heat. BUT take that with a grain of salt. Every pepper has its own level of heat, so I can’t guarantee that it won’t be spicy with this method. Just drop the pepper in whole, place a lid on the soup, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it come to a boil. Let the soup boil for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through.

Cilantro and LimeOnce the noodles are cooked, it’s time to add the final touches. A squeeze of lime juice and some roughly chopped cilantro. I used about half of the lime and 1/4 bunch of cilantro, but you can use more or less to taste.

Final SeasoningStir them in and serve. The longer the soup sits, the more the noodles will absorb the broth and fill up the pot. In this picture, right after simmering, it’s still pretty brothy. After taking all my photographs it was thick and noodly. YUM.

Sopa de FideoAmazing, simple, and delicious!

Sopa de FideoDive in!


  1. Mila says:

    This was amazing! I ate the whole thing in two days.

    I accidentally misread the recipe and got the rice vermicelli noodles, which took ridiculously long to cut up haha, but it the soup was still fantastic.
    I usually don’t like spicy food very much, so I was hesitant to add the jalepeño but I’m very I did. It was just the right amount of heat and very flavorful.
    Next time I’ll try adding more garlic and maybe some rotisserie chicken.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Julie says:

    I just got done making this…delicious and simple, as stated! The only thing I regret is not pureeing the tomatoes…I only diced them up as well as I could with a knife. I ended up adding a can of tomato soup to bring out that tomato flavor I love and WOULD HAVE had, had I pureed them.

  3. Gabrielle says:

    I was ecstatic to find this recipe on your website. I remember my grandma making me sopa de fideo all the time as a child.

    My wife stayed home sick with a sore throat and cough today. I made her this soup and she says it’s perfect. When I tasted it, it instantly took me back to my grandma’s kitchen. Thank You!

  4. jacob says:

    easy preparation, and great for budget, just not super healthy. (add chicken before, for protein,) I have made this several time in the past , with many different recipes, from traditional to this recipe (my favorite). I just always not matter what I try, can never let my self go the full simmer time, as my noodles are always done as soon as it starts to boil, even if I roast my noodles for 3-5 minutes to 15-20 minutes. I figured with the first recipe I tried that it would become mushy if I let it go 20 minutes, so I always checked the noodles almost immediately. This a great recipe, I love the added ingredients. I usually use green onions and cilantro, just didn’t think to try a pinch of cumin and fresh lime juice at the end. the cumin gives it a extra depth, if you don’t use to much, other wise I am sure it would taste like cumin mainly. This really made me want to keep this recipe in my rotation, as the others were just, yeah ok, nothing to write home about, whats the big fuss. yea! I just happened to stumble on this sight, its great to come here, and sift, rather then try to come up with something myself all the time, to try to taste good and be frugal.

  5. monica says:

    my mom would make this, and I loved adding sour cream and chile verde to it! mmmmmm

  6. Lisa Vrod says:

    Hey Beth–I’ve been following your site for about six months ago and really love it!!! This is my first time chiming in but my picky eater hubby loves all your recipes and this one was no exception–I added some spinach and a little avocado when serving this the second time and really enjoyed!! Thank you for the many awesome recipes!!!!!!!

  7. brandi says:

    Beef and seafood broth are great, too, and you can easily make this a nice vegan soup. Add a can of hot rotel for spice. I just use a 15 oz can of tomato sauce or even tomato juice or V8.The noodles release a lot of starch so you can make this a very thin soup or thick like a stew. My boys love this plain without meat.
    Love this blog!

  8. Conchexpat says:

    This is another go-to recipe for me. Love the lime in it!

  9. Anna says:

    Had this for dinner tonight, and husband and very-picky-daughter both loved it! I was nervous during cooking, but it turned out great! Thanks for sharing!
    I did use fresh peeled tomatoes (10), cos ’tis the season!

  10. Christina says:

    This is my favorite food, one of my favorite ways to eat it is adding home cooked pinto beans to the bottom of the bowl and spoon the hot fideo soup over them. So yummy.

  11. TeneW says:

    Oh my God this is SO DELICIOUS! I just finished my first bowl and it was very tasty. I used Sriracha instead of jalapeño and added some shredded chicken, poached in a sauce with mexican flavors from another recipe and and it was awesome! I think I’m going to love this site.

  12. Emilie says:

    Oh this looks delicious!

    I don’t have a tiny blender so can I buy a can of diced or crushed tomatoes instead? If so what quantity? Thank you!

  13. Laney says:

    Already have made this recipe twice. I love it!!! The lime REALLY makes it taste amazing. Thank you for this <3

  14. Brittany B says:

    Just made this tonight for hubby and I! The only thing we did differently was add a little shredded rotisserie chicken. SO. GOOD. Seriously loved it.

  15. tatiana.larina says:

    I can’t bring myself to use canned tomatoes at the peak of tomato season. Can I use nice fresh lima tomatoes?

    • I did see several Sopa de Fideo recipes that used fresh tomatoes while I was doing my research for this post. I’m not familiar with lima tomatoes, but I think any type of tomato would work. I would suggest blending up enough tomatoes to make about four cups of tomato purée, then add it in like I did the canned tomatoes. You may need to adjust the salt, though.

      • tatiana.larina says:

        Sorry, I meant plum tomatoes. They are called lima here where I live. I made it today and I even didn’t need to add extra salt (and usually I have a salty tooth). The salt in the chicken broth plus a few bits of the rotisserie chicken were enough.

  16. Rhona says:

    I made this last night and it was so good. I used Better than Boullion veggie broth and added some chicken (I just realized that sounds kind of paradoxical). I’ve made several of your recipes now and they’ve all been excellent. This is my new favorite website – I found it when it was mentioned a while back on the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour.

  17. Judith says:

    But if you go to the Pasta aisle at Wal Mart or Hispanic stores and look for Q&Q brand fideos/vermicelli you can get a 5 oz box of them already broken up for 32¢ and that’s what us Mexicans do. *:) happy


    • Nice! Thanks for sharing that tidbit! :)

    • Rhona says:

      That’s good to know – thanks.

      • Judith says:

        There’s also some fun pasta in lots f different shapes we Mexicans make into sopa secas (dry soups) that start out the same way but don’t go to soup status. They sub for rice dishes a lot. They come in letras (alphabets), conchas (shells), semilla de melon (melon seeds that look like tear drops to me), engrane (gears or wheels), corbata (bowties), estrellas (stars) and also fideos. Because they are made from soft wheat, they have to be browned first and then liquid is added but not to the soup level. You can add a can of peas and diced carrots plus the liquid. You can flavor it with Knorr caldo de tomate or pollo but that has a lot of salt/sodium in it. Cook just until the pasta is softened and absorbs the liquid and you have a side in place of rice. You can also add frozen chopped broccoli if you want. It lends itself well to whatever veggie you want to add as a side in place of Mexican rice. The packages are 7 oz. and cost 33-34¢ each. The brand is La Moderna. It is fun to play with your food.

  18. Michael says:

    I would suggest the use of wheat vermicelli over rice vermicelli. Or, if you do use rice vermicelli, just note that the cooking time is much shorter (probably around 5-6 minutes). Also, rice vermicelli can be difficult to break into small pieces.

  19. Michael says:

    A word of advice: Chinese rice vermicelli is a pain to break into smaller piece. I had to use kitchen scissors and it took longer than expected.

    Secondly, if you do use Chinese rice vermicelli, you barely have to simmer it at all. These types of noodles cook very quickly, much faster than wheat noodles.

  20. Emma says:

    Here’s a question that’s sorta related to this recipe: when using Better than Bouillon broth in soups, do you make the broth in a separate pot (bring water to boil, stir in BtB) and then pour it into your soup? Or do you make it in the soup (put the water/BtB in the soup pot and just bring it all to a boil and stir)? I always make it separately, but it would be so nice to skip the middle step and not soil another pot.

    • Most of the time I skip mixing it separately. :) For some things, like rice, that you want to avoid stirring, I’ll mix it separately then add it in. For this soup I just added the water (make sure it’s at least warm to help the BTB dissolve) and the BTB, then stirred it up really good before bringing it to a boil.

  21. Susan C says:

    Thanks for a great site. This may sound almost political, but I am a registered dietitian and I approve of this site. What I like about the site is that the recipes are healthy and have common ingredients and not too many of them. Plus, it would convince anyone they don’t have to spend a wad of cash to eat well.

    About the whole tomatoes, I completely agree with you. I have also found that the generic brands are nicer than the name brand tomatoes. Go figure! No need to spend more money to buy name brands.

    I made this soup today. Unfortunately, I could not taste it b/c of my cold. Looking forward to eating it tomorrow when hopefully I’m better. What would leaving in the jalepeno in the soup overnight do?

    • I left my jalapeno in, but haven’t noticed a major difference in the flavor. :) I also have a degree in nutritional science, but changed gears before completing my dietetic internship. :)

  22. Teresa says:

    I’m new to the blog after checking out the book. I made this recipe tonight and it is awesome! I left out the onions and used veggie broth. Maybe it’s not the same but it’s still delicious! I think the toasting of the noodles is going to help avoid 2nd day mush.

  23. Matt says:

    Oh, this looks great! I would totally see a couple drops of Valentina hot sauce in this! Yum!

  24. Kari says:

    Just made this for dinner. Super easy and delicious! I used vegetable broth and it was great. The lime is key!

  25. Mara says:

    Made this tonight. Simple and delicious! The hardest part was keeping the dry noodles from flying out of the pot while I was stirring them (and that wasn’t *that* hard). Definitely a keeper.

  26. This looks amazing! I’ve tried and loved so many of your recipes and am looking forward to trying this one. Just wondering, do you have a tip for storing soups with pasta? I love soup but am always so sad when I take leftovers in and they’ve become a mushy mess.

    • No, unfortunately I don’t have any tips for that. I guess I just don’t mind it so much. :)

      • I believe that frying the noodles is the trick, you have to make sure the noodle is “dorado” like a golden color (not brown) before you pour the tomato paste, let it cook for a while stirring carefully to not break the noodles, then you add the broth, this will give a deeper flavor.

    • Matt says:

      The trick is to cook your noodles apart in some salted boiling water. Then you add some to your bowl of soup each time you eat it (stored separatly)

    • Eiko says:

      I have that issue too (though my husband doesn’t mind it). I find that Barilla Plus pastas work really well when using regular noodles (as opposed to vermicelli like in this recipe, but I wanted to mention it anyway). I can’t tell any difference in taste between the Plus and regular pasta.

      I make Beth’s Italian Wonderpot all the time, and the noodles do soften a bit but aren’t mushy the next day.

  27. On rainy days like today, this soup would have came in handy. Thanks for sharing from

  28. I’ve been following your blog for about 2 years or so now. Haven’t really chimed in before, but just want to say how much I love the recipes you share. This one sounds amazing! Just pinned it and plan to give it a whirl this week!

  29. chris alkire says:

    Fab looking. Is it easy to find vermacelli noodles?

  30. Just convinced my SO to try it out! We didnt get the exact flavors but we added extra peppers and some hot sauce, came out to be so spicy but so enjoyable :D

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