Don’t panic if you don’t know what this is.  I’m going to be honest, when I first stumbled upon this recipe in a Food Network Magazine a few months ago, I was clueless.  I had never heard of it before, but when I read through the list of ingredients, I knew it was up our alley.  It’s a Mexican dish with pasta.  Brad actually described it chili with spaghetti in it.  Bingo.  It’s a lot like chili with spaghetti in it.

The chili aspect comes from the canned tomatoes (fire roasted… mmm), onion, green pepper, jalapeno, kidney beans, and the chili powder and cumin.  Mix all that up, add some chicken broth, and cilantro and then throw in some spaghetti and you have…. Sopa Seca!

This is a very satisfying meal, the beans and the pasta really fill you up.  No, seriously, they really do fill you up.  I got excited and gave myself a huge bowlful and couldn’t even finish it!

You could make this meal on a weeknight for sure.  It’s quick and easy.  Not a whole lot of work involved and it definitely doesn’t take long to cook.  I sort of changed up some of the recipe.  The grocery store was out of poblano peppers (yea, how does that happen?) so I had to improvise with a green pepper and 2 jalapenos.  Umm let’s see, I also only used half an onion.  A whole onion, to me, is way too much.  Also, the original recipe calls for cheese.  We skip this.  I think this dish is better without the cheese, but that’s just me.  You can go to the website (I’ll give the link below) and compare if you want, but I, obviously, like the changes that I have made!

Sopa Seca
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt
8 oz (half a package) whole-wheat spaghetti, broken into thirds (I used just regular because it was leftover from the Naked Tomato Sauce)
1- 14oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1- 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 big handful of cilantro, stems removed and coarsely chopped

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Toss in the onion and peppers and cook for a few minutes until slightly soft.  Add the chili powder, cumin and salt.  Cook for another couple minutes.  Add the uncooked spaghetti and try to toss (this is much more difficult than you would think).  Try to let the pasta toast for a few minutes in the pan, but don’t worry if this doesn’t really work.  I never has for me.

Add the tomatoes and simmer until the liquid is gone.  Then add the chicken broth, bring heat to high and let boil.  Once it boils, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the pasta is fully cooked (about 6 minutes).  Add the beans and most of the cilantro and simmer for another minute or two until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Divide among bowls and top with a few sprinklings of cilantro.

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