Feb 4, 2022

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - Sopa de Estrellitas

Twinkle twinkle little star, this long forgotten childhood lullaby started to surface as I was prepping for a Mexican soup recipe called sopa de estrellitas. 

Sopa means soup, estrellita means star. Take a guess? The estrellitas part refer to the small star-shaped pasta. With tomato sauce as the main flavoring agent, chicken stock/beef stock/or sometimes water as the base. There are also cubed veggies and cute little stars involved, it's a very comforting yet nutritious recipe that kids would love too.

Sopa de estrellitas -

Sopa de estrellitas

Ingredients (about 8 portions)?

  • 250 grams estrellita/stelline pasta
  • 500 grams tomato sauce
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 celery stalk
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 small bundle cilantro
  • 1/2 medium small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper


Try to find star-shaped pasta, estrellita or stelline, but if you can't see them anywhere, I supposed you can substitute with rice-shaped pasta such as orzo. Just it won't be little stars anymore, and the texture will be slightly different. 

Estrellia stelline pasta

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Peel and cube the onion. Cube the celery stalks. Chop the tomato. No need to peel the zucchini, just cube it. Chop the cilantro.

Ingredients for sopa de estrellitas

Bring out a big pot, non-stick preferred. Drizzle about 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and add in the pasta. Turn to medium or medium low heat. Mix the pasta once a while and cook till slightly browned.

Stir-frying the pasta first

Add in the onion and up the heat a little bit, at least medium to medium high heat. Give it a quick stir-fry. Transfer the garlic and celery over. Again, give it a quick stir-fry. Lastly, add in chopped tomato and mix till blended. Cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Stir-frying ingredients for sopa de estrellitas

Pour in the tomato sauce and stir to mix, let it cook for about 30 seconds to one minute.

Adding tomato sauce for sopa de estrellitas

Pour in chicken stock and turn up the heat. Bring the entire mixture to a boil then lower the heat to keep it at a light bubbling. Continue to cook for 10 minutes.

Using chicken stock for sopa de estrellitas

Add in cubed zucchini and most of the chopped cilantro. Cook for about 2 minutes. Taste and season with some salt and black pepper. I used 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper here.

Adding zucchini and cilantro for sopa de estrellitas

Continue to cook till pasta reaches desired texture, shouldn't take long here. Once ready, scoop to serving bowls and sprinkle some more black pepper over, also garnish with some of the remaining chopped cilantro. 

Sopa de estrellitas

The soup was already sourish from the tomatoes, so there's no need to serve with extra lime wedges on the side. 

Sopa de estrellitas

It's a very hearty recipe and I supposed each Mexican family has their own way to make it. I know some use beef broth instead, but I like the chicken stock, which is flavorful enough and yet not too heavy for the veggies per my taste.

Other soup recipes:

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