I’m spending a few days in Northern California visiting family this week and it has me feeling all kinds of nostalgic. Billy and I spent 4 years living in Humboldt County while we both finished our Bachelor’s, and driving through the lush landscape really just reminded me how much I missed the sights, the weather, and the small town living. We actually got to experience the seasons change here!
In the spirit of nostalgia and because most of us are experiencing chilly temperatures, I’m sharing a recipe for sopa de caracól today. Sopa de caracól is essentially shell pasta in a thin tomato broth. My mom would typically make this for us on cold rainy days, and she’d always accompany it with quesadillas overflowing with melty mozzarella cheese. It was heaven for us but now that I’m older, I like my soups to be in between a chowder and a bisque, so my take on this is going to be a little thicker, and I’m adding sour cream to my bowl for those tomato bisque vibes.
Whenever I think of Sopa de caracól, the song with the same name also comes to mind. It was one of those songs that would always be played at parties growing up and even though you didn’t really understand what they were saying (apparently they say “What a very good soup”), it always stuck with you!
Stay warm and cozy, and if you need something to bop along to while you’re cooking..go ahead and hit play.
- 3 tsp olive oil
- ¾ yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1½ tsp salt
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, and salt. (Note: If you prefer a slightly less chunky soup add an extra cup of chicken stock and only add ½ tsp salt instead)
- Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, blend everything until smooth. Check for salt at this time.
- Add the pasta shells and bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 15-20 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the pasta is cooked through.
- Garnish with sour cream and green onion, or your favorite toppings.