There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a piping hot bowl of soup on a cold winter day, but what about when it comes time to eat that piping hot bowl of soup?
What Is Sopita?
Sopitas are often referred to as “corn and cheese” or “cheese and corn” in Spanish, which translates to something like “small bites”.
This refers to how small they are, being only around an inch (3 cm) wide.
They also tend to be pretty thin, with each one having just enough filling for two people to share.
The name itself means “little bite” in English, so you can imagine how tiny these little bites are!
The original version of this snack was created by the Inca empire, who used them to feed their soldiers during battle.
They were made out of maize dough and filled with a mixture of corn kernels, spices, and cheese before baking.
However, today, they have been adapted into many different styles throughout Latin American countries including Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, etc.
These snacks now come in all sorts of flavors, shapes, sizes, and fillings.
As long as there is some sort of meat, grain, or vegetable inside, then it qualifies as a sopita!
Where Is Sopita From?
Sopitas are traditionally eaten with bread and cheese or crackers, but they can also be enjoyed alone.
There are many different variations of this ancient Peruvian food.
The typical ingredients include corn flour (masa), potatoes, onion, cumin, garlic, chili pepper, tomatoes, carrots, peas, green olives, black olives, and parsley.
Each country has its own unique version, but most have similar ingredients.
The only difference between them is how much masa is used, which varies depending on the type of potato.
For example, in Peru, you will see people eating “sopa de papas” (which literally translates into “peasant soup”) made by mixing potatoes with masa.
In Colombia, there is a variation called “sopa de habas” (literally translated as “bean soup”).
Here, beans are added instead of potatoes.
In Bolivia, there is a very popular variant called “tacu tacu”, where chunks of meat are cooked along with the vegetables and then blended together for an incredibly flavorful broth.
It should come as no surprise that there are so many different versions of this classic Latin American stew because it originated thousands of years ago.
For hundreds of years, the Inca Empire ruled over much of modern-day Peru, giving rise to their cuisine.
Although we don’t know exactly how long ago these foods were first created, archaeologists believe that they may date back as far as 2200 B.C., making them one of the oldest known cuisines in the world.
Although the exact origin of the word “sopita” remains unknown, it does appear that the name was given to this dish during the Colonial period.
At some point after this, it became more widely known throughout Europe, where it began to take root in other countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, and Turkey. Today, we find it all over the globe.
What Is In Sopita?
Sopitas are traditionally made by cooking chicken or beef with vegetables and spices until tender.
The ingredients can vary depending upon where one lives.
For example, some people add corn during the final stages of preparation while others don’t include any at all.
Some people also choose to serve their sopitas topped with cheese (usually cheddar) instead of broth.
A variety of herbs may be added for flavor. Some common additions include oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, and chives.
How to Make Sopitas Using Chicken
- Season the meat with salt and pepper.
- In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, 5 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, green peppers, and celery, then season with salt and pepper.
- Bring mixture to boil, reduce to low, cover pot, and simmer 30 minutes or until meat is falling off bone.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove meat from pot and place in a large bowl. Reserve liquid separately.
- Once meat has cooled slightly, shred into bite-sized pieces using two forks.
- Return shredded meat to pot along with reserved juices, tomato sauce, and remaining ingredients except parsley and oregano.
- Simmer, uncovered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, stir in parsley and oregano, then let sit 10 minutes before serving.
How to Make Sopitas Using Beef
- Prepare the same steps above using 3 pounds of ground chuck seasoned with salt, black pepper, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.
How to Make Sopitas Without Meat
- Prepare the same steps above using 2 cups vegetable broth plus 1/4 cup water and adding 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan after sautéing the onions and garlic.
- If desired, use 2 tablespoons butter.
- Use a potato masher to mash cooked beans, if needed.
How to Add Cheese To Sopitas
- Cook the meat following step 4 above, seasoning with salt, black pepper, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.
- After removing meat from pot, drain fat through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl.
- Shred the meat and return to pot. Stir in half of the grated cheese.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and continue cooking another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
How to Cook Sopitas in Pressure Cooker
- Pressure cooker method: Place all ingredients in pressure cooker and bring up to high pressure. Reduce heat to maintain pressure and cook 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pressure to drop naturally.
How to Cook Sopitas in Slow Cooker
- Slow cooker method: Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, cover, and cook on Low setting 6 hours or High setting 24 hours or until meat falls apart easily.
How Do You Make Sopita?
Sopitas are made with corn and cheese or meat, depending on your preference.
- 1 cup frozen green beans cut into 1/4 inch pieces (or fresh)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 can stewed tomatoes with juice added
- 1 can chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 package dry polenta mix for making polenta
- Cooking spray or butter
What Does Sopita Taste Like?
Soup has been around for centuries and was first introduced in Europe by Spanish explorers who brought with them their own version of the hearty meal.
The name “sopa de verduras” translates into “vegetable soup”, which is exactly what this delicious concoction is.
The original sopa de verduras included ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, and other vegetables.
Today, however, many people add meat or chicken instead of relying solely on vegetable matter.
In fact, some recipes call for adding fish, ground beef, or even pork!
It may seem strange to use meat in a vegetarian dish, but trust us – meat adds flavor and texture to your sopa de verduras.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try using different types of meats, such as lamb, turkey, or ham.
You can also switch up the veggies depending on how much variety you want in your meal, but don’t be afraid to stick to the basics if you need help getting started.
If you decide to go all out and add meat to your sopa de verduras, remember not to overcook your food.
When cooking any type of meat, including sopa de verduras, always follow the USDA guidelines for safe handling.
They recommend that you cook meat until an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.1 Celsius) is reached.
In addition, keep your kitchen clean at all times so that no one gets sick from ingesting harmful bacteria.
Use proper sanitation techniques whenever making food, whether it’s a simple pot of beans or a multi-course dinner party.
How Long Does Sopita Take To Make?
Sopitas are typically made with chicken broth and rice, which takes around 45 minutes to cook.
However, there are many different variations of this classic soup, including using beef instead of chicken or adding vegetables such as potatoes and carrots.
The amount of ingredients used in a particular sopita can vary depending upon its intended purpose (for example, if you want a light sopita for an appetizer, then use less liquid than if you were making a heavy stew).
Some people prefer their sopitas spicy, while others prefer them mild. If you’re one who likes your food spicy, you may choose to add more chili powder to increase the spiciness level of your meal.
The amount of time needed to prepare a sopita will depend greatly on how much liquid you decide to use.
We recommend starting off by reading our article detailing how to make homemade chicken stock so that you have everything you need on hand before you begin cooking.
What Is The History Of Sopita?
Sopitas are one of those foods that have been around for thousands of years, even before the first humans walked the Earth.
They were originally made out of corn and served in a bowl with meat or vegetables, depending on where you lived.
They were also known by different names like “tacu-tacu” (or “taco de papa”), which translates into “father’s taco” because they originated in Peru.
These little bowls of goodness were popular until the Spanish arrived in South America and brought their own food to the area.
After this change in cuisine, the word “sopa” was added to the mix, which means “soaked bread,” which would be used to soak up all the delicious broth left over from cooking the meats and veggies.
Then came the Incas, who introduced potatoes to the country through an exchange program between Spain and Peru.
The Spanish then changed the name of these little dishes to “sopa de limón y almendras,” meaning “lemon soup with almonds.”
After the Spanish left, many Latin American countries continued making them using whatever ingredients were available at the time.
In Argentina, for example, people started adding cheese to the soup, while some cooks made theirs spicy with chili peppers.
The modern version of the dish emerged during the 20th century, thanks to immigrants from Italy who brought their unique style of cooking to Argentina.
Today, most Argentinian restaurants serve a version of the original recipe featuring ground beef, onions, tomato sauce, and white rice — just how Italians do it!
Is Sopita Healthy?
Sopitas are typically served with slices of bread or corn tortillas and ladled into bowls.
This means that they can be a great way to get in your daily servings of vegetables without feeling like you have to chew them, or feel guilty for eating something so filling after a long workout.
If you want to try making this at home then here’s how to make sopita soup!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chili spice blend
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
(Note: If you don’t have any chili spice blend, use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper instead.)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large pot over high heat, add the olive oil, and sauté the onions until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding all other ingredients except the melted butter.
- Once everything has been added, bring the mixture up to a boil before reducing the temperature to low-medium and simmering for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the stovetop, transfer the contents to an 8×8 baking dish and place in the oven to bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- When the butter has melted, add the cooked quinoa to the skillet and stir frequently until heated through. Remove the sopita soup from the oven and serve immediately alongside the warm quinoa.
You may also enjoy these tasty recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts, drinks, and more! Check out our collection of 10+ best food blogs if you haven’t already done so.
What Are Some Variations Of Sopita?
Sopitas have been around in Peru since the early 1800s.
They were originally created with chicken or beef broth and served alongside potatoes.
The name “sopa de tortilla” translates to “tortilla soup”.
In modern times, they are often made without meat and instead use vegetables like carrots, spinach, and peas.
There are also versions that include noodles or rice.
Some people even make them out of sweet potato.
You can add different kinds of cheese, too.
Here at HowStuffWorks, we decided to create our own version of this popular Peruvian food using ingredients you probably already have lying around your kitchen.
What Are Some Tips For Making Sopita?
Sopitas come in all shapes and sizes, so you might want to try different recipes until you find one that works best with your taste buds.
The most important thing to remember when trying out new sopitas recipes is this – don’t over-complicate them!
For example, if you have an abundance of fresh vegetables at home, why not go ahead and throw everything into a big pot of water along with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, parsley, and whatever else sounds good to you? This will give you more flexibility in terms of how many ingredients you can use (and will save you money by using up any extra produce you may already be running low on).
If you prefer something simpler, just grab a few mainstays like bell peppers or onions, celery stalks, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, etc., and chop them up into bite-size pieces before adding them to a large stockpot filled with enough broth to cover the veggies.
You could also add meat scraps such as beef or chicken bones and/or bouillon cubes to the mix, which gives the soup even more flavor.
If you plan on eating a meal made from the soup straight away, I recommend adding some pasta to make things easier on yourself.
However, if you plan on freezing the soup later on, feel free to leave it alone.
Now that you know exactly what goes into making a delicious bowl of sopita, here are a few other helpful tips that should help you get started down the right path toward creating a tasty sopita of your own:
- Use only fresh ingredients whenever possible. You’ll end up spending less money buying food items that aren’t going bad after a couple of days, and you won’t need to worry about finding replacements for anything you run out of.
- Don’t throw too much stuff into the soup unless you really love having a lot of leftovers. Remember, there’s no shame in reheating leftover sopitas either. Just keep in mind that they tend to lose their texture once they’ve been sitting around for awhile.
- Make sure to add plenty of seasoning to your sopita. Don’t forget to season your soup with cumin, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, coriander, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, mint, parsley, sage, and bay leaves. Add a little bit of each herb and spice to create a balance between sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and umami flavors.
- Try experimenting with different types of bread. For example, toasted baguette slices work well because they provide a nice crunchy contrast to the softness of the sopita itself. Buttered sandwich rolls are another option since they’re usually thicker than regular white bread. They also soak up the liquid nicely while leaving behind lots of crumbs for scooping up every last drop of sopita goodness.
- Go easy on the cheese. While Parmesan cheese isn’t necessarily a bad choice for topping off a sopita, it has the tendency to cause clumps to form, especially when the soup cools down. So instead of sprinkling additional cheese onto top of your bowl of sopita, cut it into small squares and scatter those bits throughout the mixture. That way, they’ll melt into the soup without causing problems.
- Add a splash of olive oil to your soup to ensure that everything gets coated evenly with moisture.
- pressure cooker
- Slow Cooker
- 1 bag 14 oz shell pasta
- 1 can 15 oz tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 cubes Chicken bouillon
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup Queso fresco crumbled
- Dissolve 3 Knorr Chicken flavor Bouillon cubes in 6 cups of boiling water to make this delectable chicken broth. Place aside.
- Heat the oil in a medium pot over low to medium heat. Shells, garlic, and onion powder are then added. When the shells are golden brown or light brownish, stir them occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat once the shells are browned, then stir in the tomato sauce and chicken broth. Re-heat the pot to medium-high heat until it reaches a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta shells are tender.
- Serving in dishes, with cheese on top