Movie Inspired Recipes


Television Inspired Recipes


Book Inspired Recipes

Sopa de Letra (Alphabet Soup)

Is it okay if I vent for a moment?  It's not that big a deal, really.  And it has nothing to do with food.  Scroll down to the bold print if you want to skip my pointless rant.  But it's bubbling over and I need to let it out.  I mean, Mexi has heard it sort of non-stop for the past six or seven hours.  You think that'd be enough, wouldn't you?  Well.  You think I'd learn my lesson.  Or just accept things and drop it.  That's just not in my nature, I suppose.  Why, oh why do I watch movie or tv adaptations of books and expect them to actually be the same as the book?  Why!?  I've known for ages that they never are.  I remember sittin gi my living room marveling over the differences in 'The Outsiders' book and movie.  Although, I think I was okay with that one.  I mean, what 8 year old girl isn't just tickled to watch Tom Cruise and Ralph Macchio and C. Thomas Howell and Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe and Matt Dillon and Emilio Estevez on the big screen playing characters with names that are just as fun to say as the characters are to look at?  The first one that I actually had to turn off and not even finish watching (I just couldn't) was 'What Dreams May Come'.  Don't even get me started on 'Twilight'.  I mean, the writing is juvenile.  In more than just that they are written for teenagers.  The writing itself is pretty weak. BUT...I liked the books.  I liked the story.  I wanted to like the films...but they are just so incredibly boring next to the they "should" be.  My original rant (from the beginning of this ridiculous paragraph) has to do with True Blood.  I happily watched the first two seasons in ignorant bliss.  Then I read the Sookie Stackhouse books.  All ten in rapid succession.  And eagerly awaited the eleventh which I devoured in a day.  So now season three is out on DVD and I'm spending the whole thing complaining.  I admit, I'm enjoying it.  But I do think I'm enjoying it less because I loved the books so much.  Anyway...I could go on and on my "why's", but I won't.  I feel better just getting that off my chest.  I still like True Blood, though...don't get me wrong.  I just have a hard time separating them in my head.  Okay.  On to the food.

Rant on for the food.  You know of my slight soup obsession.  And if you don't, well then, I'm telling you now.  I have a slight soup obsession.  It's right up there with cheese and bread and garlic for me.  But I didn't make this soup.  Okay, let me rephrase that.  I didn't start making this soup...but I did finish making it.  It was one of those "the cupboards are bare" type of days when you start scouring the shelves and freezer and trying to decide what you can pull together.  Well, I had no patience for it, but Mexi spied a package of pasta that reminded him of the Sopa de Letra that his mami made for him when he was a kid.  His simple, comfort version includes nothing more than the pasta, a bit of oil, some tomatoes and some broth.  He started heating and stirring and browning and smelling up the kitchen all nice and soup-like when the memories of the Alphabet Soup I ate as a kid came flooding back...and they all had mixed veggies bobbing in the broth along with those little letters.  I knew there was a package of frozen mixed veg in the freezer.  And the rest, as they say, is history. And yes, of course you can make this with fresh veggies.  But it's such a perfect use for those little (practically empty) bags of veggies hanging out in the freezer.
Sopa de Letra
Alphabet Soup
from the kitchen of girlichef
yield: ~2 quarts/~6 svgs.

~1 Tbs. coconut oil (or vegetable/olive oil)
7 oz. uncooked Alphabet (Letra) pasta
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (we used fire-roasted this time, but any type is fine)
~2 qt. chicken broth (or rich stock)
~8 oz. frozen mixed vegetables (or fresh, chopped*)
ground white pepper
salt (optional, may not be needed)
In a large, wide, deep pan heat oil over medium.  Once hot, add uncooked pasta and cook, stirring for ~5 minutes until golden and beautifully coated.  Pour in tomatoes (with or without their juices...may as well add it if you have it...and even swirl a little bit of water to get the rest of the flavor out, then pour in) and let cook another minute or so.  Raise heat to high, pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce to a low simmer and let cook ~10 minutes.  Add frozen veggies.  Cover and bring to a simmer again for about 5 more minutes.  Taste and season with white pepper...and salt, if needed (depends mostly on your chicken stock/broth).

*If you are using fresh veggies, chop them in soup-size pieces (so they fit on a spoon).  You can add them to the pan along with the tomatoes and just simmer for a total of 10-15 minutes.  Use one veg or any combo you like.

**You may want to have some extra broth (or even water) if you're not eating the whole batch in one serving.  Not that I'm assuming you'll eat it all by your lonesome.  You know.  You and the fam. You and the neighbors.  Noodles are notorious juice suckers.  Sometimes I use broth/stock, sometimes water...after the soup has cooked and sat around getting comfy in its flavorful juices for a while, a bit of water doesn't seem to detract from the flavor.  Up to you.
How 'bout you?  Do you have any books that you adore that have been made into television or film that you just can't watch without nit-picking?  No, that's just me?  And what about soups that bring back memories of being a kid...are they just as good now as they were then?

I am sharing this post with:
Juli at Pictures of all my Princesses is hosting PPN this week.
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