Creamy Pasta And Vegetable Soup (Macaroni Sopas)
What is Macaroni Sopas?
Macaroni sopas is Filipino or Tagalog term for pasta soup or macaroni soup with chicken. It may sound too general, but the mere mention of macaroni sopas brings to mind this particular macaroni soup recipe that is, in my opinion, very similar to minestrone soup, however, it is not tomato-based but milk-based making it creamier and softer, by comparison. This, I promise you, is a comforting soup meal.
Where is macaroni sopas from?
Pasta e Fagioli, as it is called in Italy, goes back to the early 19th century. A similar recipe can be traced to America’s chicken soup. Apparently, the Philippines took and continued the recipe from there. It is regarded as comfort food and commonly served during cold days or to sick people. It is also called Filipino chicken macaroni, although it is obviously inherited from its western counterpart.
The basic ingredients of macaroni soup are elbow macaroni, diced chicken, carrots, cabbage, and evaporated milk.
Apart from what was already mentioned, green beans and red or green bell peppers are oftentimes included in the array of vegetables, and you can, depending on your preference, add other items that suit your fancy. Mushrooms are one good addition, although it does not add much to the taste. Celery would be a good one. The only thing going against celery is that you would only a stick for this recipe, the rest goes to another dish. Black pepper takes spicing up this soup to the next level.
What about other pasta?
Although elbow macaroni is popular in this recipe, smaller pasta versions can be used as alternative or spaghetti pasta cut into ½ inch to one-inch pieces. I sometimes mix the two types for looks.
Diced chicken is, actually, optional
Diced chicken is one major ingredient in this recipe that I had tried to let go during “I am in a hurry” time. I was surprised that it was successful that I decided that diced chicken is an optional ingredient in this macaroni soup recipe. However, if you were to use chicken, boneless chicken breasts or ground chicken would be your best choice. It is also less hassle. I have tried ground beef in this recipe; I conclude that “it is a matter of taste” because for me, chicken gives it more authenticity.
Additionally, in my own experience, there are two to three ingredients that make this soup recipe extremely tasty:
Cook the garlic until it is light brown for that extra nice aroma and taste when the soup is done.
Add a dash of butter either with the cooking oil at the beginning of cooking or drop it onto the casserole near the end, when you are about to turn the stove off.
Evap milk adds to the creamy taste of this macaroni soup. When it boils slowly and it forms a bit of thickness, the result varies, but it is a matter of preference. I had tried both and they are nice, differently. I had also used fresh milk in the same recipe and it requires double the amount of evap milk, so you would need to adjust the use of water in the earlier steps.
How to cook macaroni soup
This pasta soup recipe is easy. I had second thoughts saying “fast” because it might take a bit of prep time. Even then, it is in the category of fast. Think about sauteeing garlic, onion, and chicken for a few minutes, the rest follows in no particular order ending with evap milk and you are done.
Do I cook everything in one pot?
Although the immediate answer to this is “no”, because the pasta is pre-cooked and added in the pot midway, I can also say “yes” to that question because dry pasta can be included earlier in cooking. This way, they are cooked almost the same time as the vegetables and they are al dente rather than mushy.
What is best served with macaroni soup?
This, for me, becomes a tricky question because:
As macaroni sopas is comfort food, it can be served as it is. Also, with the presence of meat, vegetable and pasta, this has almost all one needs in one meal.
However, as this soup is still soup, it is best served at the beginning of a meal with bread and butter on the side.
Garnishing the soup with fried garlic and green onions are optional, but they add character to the macaroni soup.
At home, we serve macaroni soup with one-meat dish.
How to Store or Keep Macaroni Soup
I keep this in its original pot, cover it, and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. There is a tendency, however for the pasta to become a bit bigger and softer while the soup thickens. The process makes this soup tastier differently. One suggestion is to allow the soup to cool first at room temperature before putting it in the fridge. This prolongs the life of the soup.
Is macaroni soup healthy?
From the line-up of the ingredients of this dish, you can already tell that this is healthy. It is also low in calories and filling. The dash of butter at the end of cooking in proportion to the amount of liquid in the soup does not really add up to its calorie content.
You may also want to try MMK’s fresh tomato and carrot soup – another healthy comfort food.
- Boil fresh bones of chicken to create natural chicken stock to replace water for a hearty chicken broth. This process is basic chicken broth, and it provides that solid chicken taste to the soup.
- You can also boil chicken breast and flake them. Use in the recipe similarly.
- Use 2-3 tablespoons butter instead of cooking oil in the first step of cooking for a richer taste.
- To achieve more chicken flavor, add chicken cubes – to your desired taste. One would probably be enough for the whole pot.
- Adding sliced hotdogs is an idea to try.
- Try using leftover soup from nilagang manok for this recipe! Wonders!
- If you are to season this soup with fish sauce, add it in the pot while cooking – either right before or right after the milk.
- Uncooked elbow macaroni can be added directly along with the vegetables, rather than pre-boiling them. The effect would be the same. Spaghetti noodles broken into 1-inch sizes are a good replacement.
- Heat or reheat before serving.
Tina's Creamy Pasta and Vegetable Soup
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 150 g chicken cut into mini, almost bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium-sized carrots julienned
- 100 g cabbage shredded
- ½ cup hotdogs sliced
- 100 g elbow macaroni boiled until al-dente
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup milk fresh or evap milk
- Fish sauce to taste patis
- 1 liter water
- Sautee garlic and onions in cooking oil for a couple of minutes.
- Add chicken pieces and cook until half done.
- Add carrots and hotdogs and cook stirring for about 5 minutes, adding water halfway.
- Add macaroni, cabbage, salt, and pepper. Leave to boil then lower the heat.
- Add milk and fish sauce and simmer for another two minutes.