Simple Sopa Aguada (Pasta Soup)

Close up of Mexican pasta soup in floral print bowl.

Robin Grose

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
385 Calories
11g Fat
48g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 385
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 11476mg 499%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 24g
Calcium 163mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This soup’s name in Spanish means liquid soup, which sounds strange to our English-speaking ears because—after all—isn’t all soup liquid? In Mexico, it’s not! The term sopa there doesn’t necessarily denote a brothy dish; it can just as often refer to the course that a dish is served in. The soup course in a dinner can be composed of a brothy soup and/or a moderate portion of a (non-liquid) rice or pasta dish.

Be that as it may, this dish is a major Mexican comfort food prepared is most every home all over the country. It is almost always served in bowls as a meal’s opening dish—sometimes as often as several days a week—and it’s often the first thing a Mexican young person will learn to cook. The ingredients are so simple and ordinary that one wouldn’t expect anything special to come out of them, but this humble soup is fragrant and comforting like no other.


  • 2 ripe fresh tomatoes (peeled and chopped, or 1 (14.5-ounce/21 grams) can of chopped tomatoes)
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons pork or vegetable oil
  • 1 (7-ounce/200 grams) package of small pasta (angel hair, alphabet, or similar)
  • 6 cups/1.5 liters chicken broth (homemade, from a jar, or made with bouillon cubes/paste/powder)
  • 3 Mexican limes (halved)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and salt into a blender and process well.

  3. Heat the lard or oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Pour the pasta directly from its packaging into the hot fat. If the pasta is long, break it up somewhat with your hands as you are doing this.

  4. Fry the pasta, stirring continuously until most of it has turned light brown in color. It’s easy to burn pasta, so make sure you are giving it your full attention during this step.

  5. Add the chicken broth and tomato mixture and allow your soup to boil gently for 15 or 20 minutes.

  6. Taste your liquid soup and add salt, if necessary. Serve in bowls. Provide lime halves so that each person can squeeze juice to taste into the bowl.

  7. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Add chopped vegetables (carrots, squash, celery, turnips, corn, peas, green beans, cabbage, etc.) to this soup to make it heartier and more nutritious.
  • Make tiny little meatballs and add those—just a few if you plan to use the soup as a starter or light dish, many meatballs, and some veggies to make it the main course.