LaLa’s Sopas (Filipino Soup)

I think most of you will agree that when one is sick, there is nothing more comforting and nourishing than mama’s soup. It seems this winter my family and I have been very hospitable to the cold and flu bugs because they keep coming and going from my house! When I was little my mama cooked this for me when I was sick. Now that she has passed the recipe onto me and I am a mama, I cook it for my little ones (including my other son, my husband) when they are sick. Having said this, this soup can also be made when one is feeling perfectly well and it tastes just as good.

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Prep & Cooking Time – 30 minutes | Serves – 4

INGREDIENTS

– 250g macaroni pasta
– 200g beef minced meat
– 2 potatoes diced
– 2 carrots diced
– 1 small onion diced
– 1 tablespoon minced garlic
– 1 teaspoon minced ginger
– 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
– 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon fish sauce
– 1 chicken stock cube
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– boiling water
– salt and pepper to season

METHOD

Step 1. Dice potatoes, carrot and onion.

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Step 2. Heat up oil in a pot on medium / high heat. Fry onion, garlic and ginger until the onion is glazed and the garlic is browned.

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Step 3. Add mince meat for frying to the pot and season with salt and pepper. While your mince meat is browning, fill up and boil hot water n the kettle and dissolve chicken stock cube as per product instructions.

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Step 4. When the mince is browned and cooked through, add the diced carrot and potatoes and mix in with the mince.

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Step 5.  Add the macaroni pasta into the pot as well as the chicken stock. if the stock doesn’t completely cover all the ingredients, add more water to the pot.

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Step 6. Add the dark and light soy sauces, as well as the fish sauce and stir everything in the pot so it is all mixed together. I also add a dash of salt and pepper for extra seasoning. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low/medium heat then leave to simmer until potatoes are cooked through and the pasta is al dente. Serve immediately.

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NOTES AND VARIATION

This soup is actually a variation of the original Sopas recipe (‘sopa’ being Hispanic for soup). The original recipe requires the use of chicken, which you could use, but I find when sick the iron in the beef really makes you feel nourished and fuller. And as with many soups, you can add other vegetables to boil, such as celery, capsicum or cabbage.

If you are not comfortable using chicken stock cubes, you can always use packaged liquid stock. I also find that when I am making this soup for someone who is unwell, they have lost their taste buds and extra seasoning is required to enable them to taste the soup. In doing so, I increase the quantity of the sauces accordingly.

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