Filipino Sopas: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking, Serving and Storing

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The word “sopas” is a Spanish word that literally means “soup.”

Sopas is a type of Filipino soup that’s usually served as a main dish. It’s made with chicken, vegetables, and noodles or pasta. Just think of it as a chicken macaroni soup with a creamy broth!

The macaroni adds a nice rich texture to the soup, while the chicken provides a delicious, hearty flavor. While other macaroni chicken soups have a clear broth, sopas is made with chicken stock and evaporated milk, so it becomes rich and creamy.

The soup is also usually garnished with green onions, which add a nice touch of color and flavor.

This dish is usually served during breakfast, but it can also be eaten as a snack or a main meal.

The chicken sopas recipe is a sort of comfort food because it’s perfect for those who aren’t feeling well. It’s even good for those with hangovers from their late-night party sessions or those cold and rainy days.

Chicken Sopas Recipe

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Origin

Filipinos claim that sopas came from them, but it actually originates from the Italians because of the macaroni pasta in the dish.

This dish is a traditional food in Italy and is sometimes served with beans.

But there are, in fact, many other stories as to where the dish originated.

It’s said that sopas was first introduced during the Spanish colonial period. The dish was then brought over to the Philippines, where it became a popular part of Filipino cuisine.

Another theory suggests that Filipino chicken noodle soup is inspired by the American version, introduced during American colonial rule.

Regardless, sopas is now a Filipino dish that’s enjoyed by many!

Cooking up a Pot of Filipino Sopas: Tips and Tricks

Before you start cooking, make sure to prep all your ingredients. Here are some tips to make the process quicker and easier:

  • Use a food processor to chop your veggies. This will save you time and effort.
  • If you’re using chicken with bones, flake the meat off the bones before cooking. This will make it easier to eat later on.
  • Measure out all your ingredients beforehand. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget anything.

Cooking the Soup

Now that you have all your ingredients prepped, it’s time to start cooking! Here are some tips to help you create a robust and flavorful broth:

  • Start by sautéing your aromatics (onions, garlic, etc.) in a pot. This will help draw out their flavors.
  • Add your chicken and cook it until it’s no longer pink. This should take around 5-7 minutes.
  • Pour in enough water to cover the chicken and bring the pot to a simmer.
  • Let the soup simmer for at least an hour. This will help draw out the flavors from the chicken and veggies.
  • After an hour, remove the chicken from the pot and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Then, return the chicken to the pot.
  • Add your macaroni and let it cook until it’s al dente.
  • If you want your soup to be thicker, add a starch like cornstarch or flour to the pot. Dilute the starch in water before adding it to the soup to prevent clumps.
  • If your soup is too thick, add more water to thin it out.
  • Adjust the seasonings to your liking. Don’t be afraid to add more salt, pepper, or other seasonings to make the soup taste just right.

Tools of the Trade

To make cooking sopas even easier, here are some tools that you might find helpful:

  • A cutting board and sharp knife for chopping veggies and chicken.
  • A food processor for quickly chopping veggies.
  • A large pot for cooking the soup.
  • Measuring cups and spoons for accurate ingredient measurements.

Remember, cooking sopas takes time and effort, but the end result is always worth it. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious and comforting bowl of Filipino sopas.

How to Serve Filipino Sopas: Tips and Tricks

1. Add Some Extra Bits and Sides

Filipino sopas is a complete dish on its own, but adding some extra bits and sides can make it even more delicious. Here are some suggestions:

  • Chopped green onions or scallions
  • Fried garlic bits
  • Sliced hard-boiled eggs
  • Crushed chicharron or pork rinds
  • Toasted bread or pandesal on the side

2. Try Different Versions of Sopas

Filipino sopas has many versions, and each one has its own unique twist. Here are some versions you can try:

  • Beef sopas: Substitute beef for the chicken or turkey in the recipe.
  • Spicy sopas: Add some chopped red chili or hot sauce for an extra kick.
  • Creamy sopas: Add some heavy cream or evaporated milk for a richer version.
  • Chef-style sopas: Follow the recipe but add your own twist, like adding more vegetables or using a different starch.

3. Let the Dish Rest Before Serving

After cooking, let the sopas rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the starch to absorb the liquid and thicken the soup. It also allows the flavors to meld together for a more delicious dish.

4. Serve in Large Containers

Filipino sopas is a dish that’s meant to be shared. Serve it in large containers or bowls so that everyone can help themselves to as much as they want. It’s also a great dish to bring to potlucks or lunch gatherings.

5. Have Some Bread or Rice on the Side

Filipino sopas is a filling dish, but having some bread or rice on the side can make it even more satisfying. The bread or rice can also be used to soak up the soup.

6. Substitute Meat or Starch if Needed

If you don’t have chicken or turkey, you can substitute it with beef or pork. If you don’t have macaroni or elbow pasta, you can use any other starch like rice or potatoes. Filipino sopas is an affordable dish that can be made with whatever ingredients you have on hand.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to serve Filipino sopas. It’s a dish that’s loved by many people all over the world, and each person has their own way of enjoying it. Just follow the recipe, add your own twist, and enjoy!

Storing Your Filipino Sopas: Keeping the Creamy Comfort Fresh

  • Once your sopas is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it cool down slightly.
  • If you have any solid ingredients like sliced meat or chopped cabbage, remove them from the pot and set them aside.
  • If you’re preparing extra sopas for storage, follow the recipe as usual but cut the ingredients in half or thirds.
  • If you’re using chicken stock or any other type of broth, let it cool down before pouring it into the pot.

Storing Your Sopas

  • If you’re storing your sopas in the fridge, transfer it to an airtight container and store it for up to 3 days.
  • If you’re storing your sopas in the freezer, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 3 months.
  • If you’re storing your sopas with solid ingredients, store them separately from the soup to prevent them from getting soggy.
  • If you’re storing your sopas with noodles, store them separately from the soup to prevent them from absorbing all the liquid.

Additional Tips

  • If you’re using evaporated milk in your sopas, add it directly to the pot after the soup has finished cooking.
  • If you’re using shredded chicken in your sopas, add it to the pot during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • If you’re using sotanghon noodles in your sopas, soak them in water for 10 minutes before adding them to the pot.
  • If you’re using bay leaves in your sopas, remove them before storing the soup.
  • If you’re using onions in your sopas, chop them finely to prevent them from overpowering the soup.
  • If you’re using pepper and salt in your sopas, season it to taste.

Conclusion

So there you have it- everything you need to know about Filipino sopas. 

They’re a delicious comfort food that’s perfect for lunch or dinner, and you can make them with chicken, beef, or pork, and even with shrimp or fish. 

Just remember to use lots of garlic, ginger, and onion, and you’ll be on your way to making the perfect Filipino sopas dish.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.