There is no better way to receive the cold season than with a warm bowl of soup, so for this weekend I have this rather hardy recipe from Peru with Italian roots: “Sopa a la Criolla”. This dish has different variations, but the one I am presenting today is probably the most common for this recipe. I have also added a little twist to make it a little more interesting and modern.
Sopa a la Criolla (Serves 4)
1 pound beef, diced (skirt steak )
1/2 cup evaporated milk
8 cups beef broth
1 large red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 cups pasta (angel hair, but any other pasta will work)
1 1/2 tbsp of tomato paste
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp oregano (fresh is better, but dry will also work)
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp aji amarillo paste (this can be purchase online)
4 quail eggs
4 pieces of toast for garnish
salt and pepper
In a medium pot, add the oil and cook the beef seasoned with salt and pepper for about 2 minutes on medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions and reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes (stirring constantly), then stir in the aji amarillo, tomato paste and chopped tomato. Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated. Incorporate the broth and bring to boil for about 7 minutes.
For the next step, there are two options. If you are serving the soup right away, then traditionally you need to add the pasta as soon the soup starts boiling and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until the pasta is done.
However if you are thinking of serving the soup later, I highly recommend cooking the pasta separately (just cook according to the package and once is ready run the noodles in cold water until cold) This is because the pasta will continue to cook as long the soup is hot, which will result in mushy noodles in the soup.
Finally, add the oregano and the milk. Serve with a single piece of toast on top with one of the fried quail eggs. Buen provecho!