Soup (sopas in Filipino) made with minced beef, macaroni pasta, vegetables, and milk. Filipino Mama’s go-to-soup for picky young eaters. Grown-ups love it too especially as an afternoon snack.
Filipino ‘sopas’ is almost always made of macaroni pasta. It has always been made that way. Not really sure why, but it may have something to do with its fun cute shape. It is often known as ‘kids soup’ because the vegetables are sliced as small as possible. The sneaky adults, ‘hiding them in plain sight’ hoping it will look enticing to the young ones.
This dish certainly brings back a lot of memories from my childhood days. My siblings and I love having this as in-between-meal (called merienda in Filipino) together with Spanish bread.
The milky and buttery soup is so delicious and it would surely be tiresome for the little fingers to sort out the tiny sliced vegetables so as kids we just eat them. Yes! That old trick works!
But what makes this different from other macaroni soups, thus calling it Filipino-style?
- First, it is always cooked one-pot. The pasta is not pre-cooked. Instead, it is sautéed with the meat and vegetables in a generous amount of butter or margarine. That is why it is delicious!
- Second, we use evaporated milk. It is economical and is always available (and accessible) in any part of the Philippines. That is why most Filipino dishes that call for milk almost always use ‘evap’ milk instead of fresh milk.
- And lastly, fish sauce! That stinky-smelling (smells good to me though and probably to most Asians) anchovy-based sauce is what makes our sopas deliciously savory. No, it won’t make the soup taste fishy. So, don’t worry!
Watch how to make Minced Beef Sopas
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 whole onion sliced
- 300 grams minced beef
- 1 cup carrots diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1 cup green peas i used frozen
- 1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
- 6-7 cups water
- 1 cup evaporated milk add more if desired
- 2 pieces bouillon cubes use chicken or beef
- fish sauce to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- dried thyme optional
- In a pot over medium heat, add butter and oil. Saute garlic and onions until fragrant and translucent. Add ground beef. Stir until no longer pink.
- Add carrots, celery and green peas. Cook for 2 minutes then add macaroni. Stir until fragrant. Add water and bouillon cubes. Cover with lid and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Pour evaporated milk. Season with salt, black pepper and fish sauce (patis). Cook for another 5 minutes or until macaroni is cooked al dente. Transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!
- This recipe calls for beef but chicken and pork or even turkey can be used too.
- Other vegetable variations: napa cabbage, bell peppers, cabbage, and green beans.
- Add 1/2 cup water at a time if water evaporates too quickly while the pasta is cooking. Season with fish sauce, salt, and pepper as necessary.
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