This Mexican Star Soup (Sopa de Estrellas) is made with red onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, broth, and star pasta.
In the US, Americans eat chicken noodle soup when they are sick. In Mexico, Mexicans, like myself, eat Sopa Aguada. This dish brings so much comfort to me and reminds me of relaxing days at home. This soup isn’t just good for sick days, but really any day. It is made with a tomato-based broth that is so full of flavor and perfect for the whole family.
What is Mexican Star Soup?
Mexican Star Soup, also known as Sopa de Estrellas in Spanish, is a traditional Mexican soup made with star-shaped pasta, vegetables, and sometimes meat. It is a simple and comforting dish that is often enjoyed as a light meal or as a starter in Mexican cuisine.
The main ingredient in Mexican Star Soup is the star-shaped pasta, which is typically small in size and made from durum wheat or semolina flour. The pasta is cooked in a flavorful broth made from vegetables, stock, and seasonings, which gives the soup its delicious taste.
In addition to the star-shaped pasta, Mexican Star Soup may also include various vegetables such as carrots, celery, tomatoes, and onions, which are typically diced or chopped. Some variations of the soup may also include meat, such as shredded chicken or beef, to add protein and heartiness to the dish.
Mexican Star Soup Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Red onion
- Diced tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Stelline or star pasta
See recipe card for Mexican Star Soup (Sopa de Estrellas) quantities.
How to make Mexican Star Soup
In a blender, add the tomatoes, garlic, and onion. Use some of the chicken broth, just enough to blend everything.
Blend until smooth and set aside.
Instant pot: In an instant pot, hit the sauté function. Add the olive oil and cook until the pasta turns golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken broth in as well as salt and the tomato mixture. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes.
On the stovetop: In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the pasta and sauté until it turns golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken broth as well as the tomato mixture and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is soft.
- Tomatoes: I like using tomatoes from the can because it comes already prepared and with the juices. You should opt for the fire roasted tomatoes or the diced tomatoes with green chilies.
- Onion: This dish traditionally uses red onion, but you can use white or yellow.
- Broth: If you are vegan or vegetarian, skip the bouillon cube and use vegetable broth. If you would like chicken broth, that works too!
- Garlic: For best taste, use fresh garlic, but you can also use garlic from the jar. Just use about a tablespoon to substitute for 2 garlic cloves.
- Stelline: Stelline is another name for stat shaped pasta. It is often used in soups for children because of the shape, but who said its only for kids?!
Mexican Star Soup Recipe Variations
- Spicy Mexican Star Soup: Add some heat to your soup by incorporating spicy ingredients such as diced jalapenos, serrano peppers, or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. You can also sprinkle some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for an extra kick.
- Creamy Mexican Star Soup: Create a creamy and luscious version of Mexican Star Soup by adding a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking. This will give the soup a rich and velvety texture.
- Chicken Tortilla Mexican Star Soup: Incorporate classic flavors of chicken tortilla soup by adding shredded cooked chicken, diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, and tortilla strips to your Mexican Star Soup. Top with avocado slices, grated cheese, and a dollop of sour cream for a delicious twist.
- Beef Mexican Star Soup: Use beef broth as the base and add diced cooked beef or ground beef to your soup for a heartier version. You can also add diced potatoes, carrots, and peas for a beef stew-like twist.
- Cheesy Mexican Star Soup: Stir in some grated cheese, such as cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or queso fresco, towards the end of cooking to create a gooey and cheesy version of Mexican Star Soup. This will add extra richness and depth to the soup.
Check out my Instant Pot Copycat Chipotle Rice.
- Soup pot or Dutch oven: You'll need a large pot or Dutch oven to cook the soup. Look for one with a capacity of at least 4-6 quarts to accommodate the ingredients and allow room for stirring.
- Cutting board and knife: You'll need a cutting board and a sharp knife to chop or dice vegetables, meat, or other ingredients for the soup.
- Wooden spoon or spatula: A wooden spoon or spatula is handy for stirring the soup and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent ingredients from sticking.
- Ladle: A ladle is useful for serving the soup into bowls or soup cups.
- Measuring cups and spoons: You'll need measuring cups and spoons to measure out the ingredients accurately, especially for liquids, spices, and seasonings.
- Can opener: If you're using canned ingredients such as diced tomatoes, beans, or broth, you'll need a can opener to open the cans.
- Stove or cooktop: Mexican Star Soup is typically cooked on a stove or cooktop, so you'll need a functioning stove or cooktop to heat and simmer the soup.
How to store Mexican Star Soup
- Refrigeration: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container or cover the pot with a tightly sealed lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: If you have leftovers or want to make a big batch of Mexican Star Soup for future use, you can freeze it. Allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Label the containers with the date and name of the soup, and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. It's a good idea to portion the soup into smaller containers or bags for easier thawing and reheating.
- Reheating: To reheat Mexican Star Soup, you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if frozen, then transfer it to a pot or saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until warmed through. Alternatively, you can heat it in the microwave in short intervals, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating. Add a splash of water or broth if the soup has thickened during storage.
- Tips for storage: When storing Mexican Star Soup, make sure to use airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to prevent freezer burn and maintain freshness. Label the containers with the name and date of the soup for easy identification. It's also a good idea to portion the soup into smaller containers or bags for easier thawing and reheating, especially if you're not planning to consume the entire batch at once.
- Note: Some ingredients, such as pasta or rice, may become mushy when frozen and reheated. If your Mexican Star Soup contains these ingredients, you may consider omitting them or cooking them separately and adding them to the soup when reheating to maintain their texture.
Mexican Star Soup Recipe Top tips
- Use high-quality ingredients: Since Mexican Star Soup relies heavily on the flavors of the ingredients, using fresh and high-quality ingredients can greatly enhance the taste and overall quality of the soup. Choose fresh vegetables, good-quality meat, and flavorful broth for the best results.
- Toast spices and seasonings: Toasting spices and seasonings before adding them to the soup can help release their flavors and aromas, adding depth and complexity to the soup. You can toast spices such as cumin, coriander, and chili powder in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant, then add them to the soup.
- Customize spice level: Mexican Star Soup can be spicy, so adjust the spice level according to your preference. You can use mild or hot chili powder, adjust the amount of jalapenos or other spicy ingredients, or add hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes to suit your taste buds.
- Layer flavors: Building layers of flavors is key to creating a delicious Mexican Star Soup. Sauté the onions, garlic, and other aromatic ingredients first to develop their flavors before adding other ingredients. Brown the meat for extra depth of flavor. Add the spices and seasonings gradually to allow them to meld with the other ingredients.
- Simmer for flavor development: Allow the soup to simmer for an extended period of time to develop the flavors and allow the ingredients to meld together. This can help create a more complex and flavorful soup. Just be sure to monitor the soup and adjust the seasoning and liquid as needed.
- Customize toppings: Mexican Star Soup is often served with various toppings such as shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, chopped cilantro, and tortilla strips. Customize the toppings to suit your preferences and add a touch of freshness and texture to the soup.
- Taste and adjust: Throughout the cooking process, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more salt, pepper, spices, or other seasonings to suit your taste preferences.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove