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- 1 1/2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes quartered, or whole canned tomatoes, drained
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups alphabet-shaped pasta or any other small-shaped pasta, 12 ounces
- 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion and water in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the pasta, stirring continuously. As you fry the pasta, it will change in color from a deep white to a deep brown. Take care not to burn it! You want to cook it until it smells toasty, but not bitter like burned toast, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the tomato puree over the pasta, sprinkle in the salt, and stir. Be careful, as the puree will want to jump all over your burners, it’s a good idea to cover it partially with a lid. Let the tomato base cook and thicken for about 6 minutes, stirring often, until it becomes a deeper red and has thickened to the consistency of a thick puree. Keep on stirring, so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. You will see the base of the pot as you stir, but the sauce will not be dried out. Cooking the tomato puree to this point will give the soup a really nice depth of flavor.
- Pour in the broth, stir, and when it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve.
122comments inAlphabet Soup
Dear Pati, made this soup especially for my grandkids! Everyone loved it. I love trying your recipes! Thank you so much for them so all can see the diverse Mexican kitchen! Love your show too! I have learned so much about the regions of Mexico, butchery, dairy farms & more! Thank you!
My pleasure Claudette, thanks to you for following!
Hi Pati! I’m going to try to make this soup. It sounds delicious! I have a question, the recipe calls for toasting the pasta. My abuelita taught me how to make spanish rice, which also calls for toasting. I never asked her why, I just did it and to this day, I still do. What is the purpose my friend?
Toasting the paste brings out another layer of flavor honestly, the same with the rice, you do not want to miss it!
I’m a beginner at cooking soup, so … how do I get together a good chicken broth? I don’t want to open a can.
Here is my recipe for you Diana 🙂 https://patijinich.com/mexican-chicken-broth-405/
Thank you so much for sharing wonderful alphabet soup memories Pati. My mother used to make this soup when I was a kid and I absolutely loved it!
So glad you enjoyed it Ana!
I love your recipes I made your soup everything from my garden I served it topped with sliced avacodo
Mmmm, great idea, thanks for sharing Eleanor!
I wish i had alphabet soup :,(
We all do I think 😉
Me and my kiddo, Miliah (7) just made this for the first time and it’s in instant hit! We love watching your show together. Sending you love from Missouri!!
Love back at you guys, abrazos all the way to Missouri 😉
We love the show and your beautiful family.
Going to try the alphabet soup soon.
Thank you sharing such great recipes.
Thanks so much for the kind words Jan, let me know how you like the Sopa de Letras 😉
This is my favorite soup. I like to eat it the next day because it brings out more is the tomorrow flavor. It reminds me of canned Spaghettios I used to have at my Grandma’s house. It brings good memories to me whenever I make it and it’s such an easy recipe.
So glad you like it and it brings memories of your Grandma Jan 🙂
Jeron Ezekiel C. Mula
mommy will cook it
I just got finished watching this episode. Those boys are so lucky to have you as their mom! I love simple easy recipes so I will definitely be trying this one out. I hope my boys love it as much as yours do!
Thanks for the sweet words Jenna, hope your boys enjoy la Sopa de Letras 🙂
Lisa from Kentucky
Oh Pati, my daughter Holly (10) and I have seen every episode that Prime has to offer! Thank you for a program that is decent and pure! We find our selves saying “super juicy” when we eat anything that we think you might enjoy!
This episode was one of our favorites! I can’t wait to (try) make the alphabet soup with Holly!
Hi Lisa and Holly, thanks so much for tuning in and for giving my recipes a chance. Keep cooking and having fun together in the kitchen 🙂
Amy F Engel
I make this soup once a week for my teenage daughter who loves it!!! Thank you:)
Aw, so glad she loves it Amy! Hugs to both of you 🙂
I just subscribed to your newsletter ! Can’t wait for ANY of your recipes , love you and your show !
Thanks so much Alice!
First off I love your show. I watch it all of the time. I love to see your travel videos, your time with your boys cooking. I just saw your show when you made this soup. I’m making some today for our lunches next week. It sounds do good.
Thank you Amy for the kind words, hope you enjoy this soup as much as I and my kids do 🙂
Muchisimas gracias Pati! Thank you to you, your boys and husband for your show and pride in our mutual Mexican heritage. We have long taught all our five children (ages 6 – 21) to cook and love the culinary art. We have added your show to our nightly watch schedule and we will be making this recipe esta noche. Abrazos y esperamos que todos andan bien durante la cuarentena.
Gracias a ti Lorenzo y a la familia! Esta sopita de letras les va a encantar, abrazos a todos 😉
First of all I want to tell you how much I enjoy watching your program. You are the queen of Mexican cooking! Outstanding recipes and entertaining destinations. I love that you taste your food and your family is beautiful! All your recipes are excellent … this is a simple and delicious weekday recipe that quick to make. Thank you for all you do!
Awww, thanks so much for the sweet words Peter, you made my day! Thanks to you for tuning in 😉
I’m a mom of three boys and this is their absolute favorite meal. I use ditalini and less broth so it’s thicker. My boys adore it!! Thank you!
Say hi to your boys for me, Julie!
My wife finally saw this episode and asked if I could turn it into the base for a vegetable soup. To make it more hearty, I marinated stew meat with cumin and cayenne and browned it. I used vegetable stock instead of chicken broth and added the stew meat and corn during the simmering process at the end. Turned out amazing!! Thank you! I did use dinosaur shaped pasta to keep it fun 🙂
Oh that sounds great…and I love the dinosaur shaped pasta.
My soup came out very bland. I made sure to get the tomato puree to a dark red paste… but I needed to add a lot more salt and pepper and oregano and parsley and basil … and red pepper flakes and tomato paste. I guess this is for children’s palates. I was hoping though the Browning of the pasta and getting the tomato puree to the paste would add the tomato flavor that I’m missing. I also felt as if the chicken broth was a lot and may have overpowered the tomato flavors. Do you think its the broth I used?
I’m sorry to hear this, Melinda. Some pre-made chicken broths have more flavor than others. Here’s how I make my own chicken broth: https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/mexican-chicken-broth-405/
Thank you Pati for sharing your recipe! I do have a question I hope you will answer. I wanted to know if I could add a diced dried ancho chili to this recipe. If I can, should I add it when I’m sauteing the pasta or when I add the tomatoes? Please let me know. Thanks!!
Oh great idea… I would add it when adding the tomatoes.
Do you have a recipe for Albondigas? I would love one!
I have two, Lupe. Here they are: https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/dreaming_of_julios_albondigas/ https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/meatballs-in-guajillo-sauce/
I watched an episode last night that had this soup but with different pasta, sandwiches and some cheese cake. I want to find the recipes for all three. Everything looked so good it made me hungry.
Here are the other recipes, Lynette! https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/dulce-de-leche-cheesecake/ https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/grilled-cheese-and-bean-heroes/ https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/pico-de-gallo-salsa/
My son refuses to eat soup, he says it takes a long time to eat… yea he is only 5 so I get his point..I made this soup and now it is his favorite soup ever! or so he says, I know that it is a winner for me so thank you for this recipe and for all your books which have made our lives better!
Aww thank you so much Gabriella! And say hi to your son for me.
I have a son that has to eat gluten free. Do you think this recipe can be made with gluten free brown rice pasta? I’m hoping it will turn out relatively close to the original! Thanks! P.S. We love your show!!
Sure! And say hi to your son for me 🙂
Thank you for allowing us to print your recipes. Will definitely be making alphabet soup. Reminds me of 1 my father made way back in the 60s. Would cilantro be appropriate in this soup?
Cilantro would be a great garnish. Enjoy the soup, Bruce.
alisha and Damo.
My wife and I love your show being vegetarians there’s a lot on offer. Just making the alphabet tomato soup now, can’t wait, looking great! Cheers
Thank you for tuning in, Alisha and Damo!
This was really easy, and super delicious. I really recommend this recipe
Oh thank you Eva!
Will you post the link for the molested again as I must have missed it. Love your recipes!
Here is the recipe for the molletes Tammy! https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/recipe/grilled-cheese-and-bean-heroes/
My husband and I and our 3 kids love watching your show. We are making this a second time tonight. My kids love it along with your molettes. We love to see your kids on the show eating and trying new things. Its a great way for kids watching to be enthusiastic about trying them as well!
Oh thank you so much Lee Anne! I hope your kids continue to love many more recipes and trying new foods!
I love watching your shows with my Daughter. I plan on making this wonderful soup for my three kids. What a Wonderful way to warm up right after school!
Thank you so much Pati.
It’s a great after school snack! Say hello to your daughters for me!
This was an easy variation on my usual tomato-based alphabet soup. I added some soup veggies and a BIG spoonful of chipotle adobo sauce. Delicious! Thanks Pati!!
Made today, delish. Could not find my blender base so I used 1 cup of puree and grated onion and garlic. I halved the recipe as it was just for 2 people.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Wendy!
This is my new favorite soup! Love your recipes, Pati.
Hola Pati!! I’m so happy I caught the episode for the alphabet soup. I just finished preparing it using no sodium veggie broth and it came out super good! I’m always trying to find new food that I can enjoy as well as healthy meals I can cook for my mami. We were going to go out and eat but after my madre tasted the soup she said lets stay home and eat soup! I’m so happy. Thank you for this recipe and for representing Mexico and our people in such a positive light. Viva Pati!
Diosdado thank you so much!!!
I made this today and it was very good. Very simple too!
Love your show and all the recipes. You have a beautiful family.
I will try to make the enchiladas next time.
Thank you Carol!
Definitely making this with the Grilled Cheese sandwich. My husband is a vegetarian and I just convert the recipes using vegetable broth or stock. He loves a lot of heat so I don’t scrimp on the chipotle or jalapeño.
A grilled cheese is a perfect companion for this soup! Yum
This has become a standard at my home. My hubby who’s not a big tomato soup kinda guy loves it! It never lasts long…we gobble it right up! Thanks for the great recipe!!
Super happy you found a new standard Christine!
This is delicious! I don’t even LIKE tomato soup, but I can’t get enough of this! ¡Gracias, Pati!
I’m so thrilled you like it, Kristen! Thank you for trying the recipe!
I watched the show for the first time love the recipes simple and not expensive due to very little budget thank you.
Hola Pati! Yo soy del Df y ya casi se me olvidaron algunas recetas de mi pais como el mole de olla y vi tu show y me gusto mucho y ya lo hice y a mi familia le encanto.A lo igual que el chesse cake con dulce de leche!!!!!Riiico!!!Gracias.
So amazing… I made this for my two kids who wouldn’t eat ANYTHING since they have been feeling under the weather 🙁
They LOVED it, and gobbled it up 🙂
Thank you thank you!!!
(From one mother to another.)
So thrilled to hear this, Bridget! I hope your kids are feeling better soon!!
Hi Pati! My son and I enjoyed watching this particular episode with your boys. 🙂 This soup is so simple yet so very delicious! I cannot wait to make it with the delicious sandwiches and dessert as well. Gotta run…making this soup as we speak! Blessings…Shannon in Texas
My husband ended up LOVING the soup! 🙂 And I wanted to mention that if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they usually carry alphabet noodles (it’s their own brand).
This soup is a big hit with my kids. I make it once a week by request.
Yay! So happy they like it!! Big hit with my kids, too.
I made this soup for my very picky 2 year old daughter and she loves it. I made it with the fresh tomatoes and the soup has a very light, refreshing taste. I was nervous toasting the pasta, but managed to get to a nice golden brown that adds a nice nutty flavor. A simple recipe that was easy to prepare but packs a ton of flavor. I will definitely be making this frequently in the future!
Hola Steve, I’m SO happy to hear your daughter liked this soup! Thank you for trying the recipe!!
Pati, you’re darling as is your whole family. I watch a lot of cooking shows but I’m drawn to your show every episode. Each recipe looks wonderful. I want to make the alphabet soup but as I recall on your show, you only used 4 c broth. I thought , that’s perfect for us. Thery’re are only two of us, (seniors, small apetites) so am I wrong about as recipe says 8 C? Please clarify. Thank you. Can’t wait to try the soup, even though it’s so hot here as we live in NM.
Continue with your shows, I will look foward to each and every one.
Hi Grisha, Thanks for your message! You may make the soup with only 4 cups of broth – just reduce all the other ingredients by half as well.
I am making this right now & am questioning the 8 cups of broth? I only used 4 so far, and there is so much liquid after simmering for 10 minutes. I did have to cook the tomato purée & pasta mixture a lot longer than 6 minutes to get to the “thick purée” state, but I made sure to do so. Not sure what I am doing wrong? It does smell wonderful though!
Let me know how it turns out in the end!
My daughter and I watched your show a few nights ago and I have been thinking about the recipes ever since. I went to the store today and found everything I needed. The soup and molletes were easy to prepare, but the best part was the fact that my super pickey kids ate every bite. Normally they won’t eat anything that resembles a pepper or onion but when they are hidden under a layer of beans and cheese they are all about it. We will definitely make this again soon.
I’m so happy your kids liked the molletes! Yay!! Thank you for watching.
Thank you for this delicious recipe! I wanted to use up what I had in the cupboards, so for the pasta I substituted Israeli couscous, and for the tomato/garlic/onion I subbed a jar of canned tomato sauce I made last summer! So fresh and delicious and so soothing on a rainy day. Thanks again Pati!
Your family is adorable, by the way!
Thank you, Emily!
Sue Hale Hayes
Miss.Pati~My Sweet Husband made the Alphabet Soup today & was the Best! The toasting of the Pasta made a huge difference & we will only use this recipe for Tomato Soup from now on because of Flavour,lots of lovely Flavour. Your Sweet Son knows good Foods!
I will pass this on to Juju 🙂
Pati,my husband and I love watching your show. He said anybody that watches your show and doesn’t laugh there is something wrong with them.lol.we are making the soup the grilled cheese & bean sandwiches .can’t wait to make the cheesecake your boys are adorable.I hope you cook on TV for a long time. I want to get your cookbooks. Pat
Thank you for your message, Pat! I hope you like the soup and the sandwiches, and I hope you try many more recipes too.
I have a question regarding the Alphabet Soup. It may be a stupid question, but are the noodles uncooked when you brown them in the stock pan?
This looks delicious! My 11 year old daughter and I watched your show last night and the child who literally likes nothing, actually asked me to make the soup for her! And of course I will be making the rest of the recipe’s as well. Can’t wait to try them! I’m so excited to see my daughter interested in a new food 🙂
Hi Jennifer, I’m so excited your daughter wants to try the soup! My boys love it! Let me know what she thinks of it. And thank you for watching!!
We made it together last night. She had a huge smile on her face after her first bite and announced it’s now her favorite. Thank You!!!!
Today I watched this episode with my husband and son, who is 11. Needless to say, I will be going to the grocery store tomorrow so that we can make all 4 recipes for dinner tomorrow! My son loves to cook and cannot wait to help make the cheesecake. Thank you for a lovely show, and we really enjoyed watching you cook with your sons. You have a beautiful family! (And I like your accent and the way you say “fish”!!! LOL!!
Haha! I will tell my boys!
So, I have to tell you – my son and I made the soup and the sandwiches! Delicious! They were so good! My son asked two days later if we could make the same dinner again! Thankyou for the recipes. We are fans for life!
Hi Pati, we just watched this episode on CreateTV. It was such an entertaining show, and your boys were so sweet.
I want to cook this soup for my grand children as soon as I get the right kind of pasta.
Thank you for your good recipes and fun show.
Thank you for watching, Rhonda! You can make that soup with any kind of pasta, you can even use angel hair and break it into pieces…
Hello! I make this soup at least once a week. My family loves it. We add cumin to the recipe and will add chicken pieces for a more hardy dish. But this simple and quick recipe is my favorite!
Oh, what great spins!
I am going to make it tonight and add chicken pieces as well. I cant wait to try it.
I was watching your show on KPBS last Saturday and I ask my 9yr old daughter to join me and let me know if she would like to try the soup you were making. She paid attention to the show and liked the ingredients, so we made the soup together with the “molletes” Loved it!!! Easy, simple and delicious. Can’t wait to cook again with my daughter.
It is one of my boys favorites! Hope you both try many more…
I saw you make this on TV last week, and I found the recipe in your cookbook. It looks and sounds so delicious that I am going to make it tomorrow with fideos and home made turkey stock. Thank you for the recipe.
Saw your show today for the first time, and these recipes look so delicious and easy. I’m looking forward to trying them!
I look forward to you enjoying them!
I prepared the Alphabet Soup today,it was delicious! My family enjoyed this soup. It was easy and quick to prepare.
Great to hear!