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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich Alphabet Soup

Alphabet SoupSopa de Letras

Serves: 6

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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 (12 ounces), or any other small-shaped pasta

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth

To Prepare

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.



I prepared the Alphabet Soup today,it was delicious! My family enjoyed this soup. It was easy and quick to prepare.

Great to hear!

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!

Hola Pati,
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.

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.
Maria =-)

It is one of my boys favorites! Hope you both try many more…

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.

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…

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!

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!!!!

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?

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 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.

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 :)

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!

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.

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!

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 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!!

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.

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

Hi Pati!

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).

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!!

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.

I watched the show for the first time love the recipes simple and not expensive due to very little budget thank you.

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