Sopa criolla (a.k.a. sopa a la minuta) is the Peruvian version of laksa. It’s not as sweet, not as thick, not as tangy, but equally comforting. The alternate name for this soup “a la minuta” indicates that is a quick dish to make (minuto = minute).
As most Peruvian dishes, sopa criolla contains onion, garlic and chilli. This base serves to flavour the soup, while the tomatoes provide some sweetness, acidity and body. Other key ingredients are beef (either minced or finely chopped), noodles (usually angel hair pasta) and evaporated milk. The cherry on top is a poached or fried egg.
I used vermicelli in this recipe to make it gluten-free. You can also use low carb konjac noodles, zoodles (zucchini noodles) or your preferred substitute. I don’t recommend using evaporated milk (not in this recipe or in general) due to its poor nutritional quality. Instead, use regular milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk.
Finally, if you can’t find the Peruvian chilli pastes, try your favourite chilli paste.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 500g beef mince
- 6 tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp ají panca (Peruvian red chilli paste)
- 2 tsp ají amarillo (Peruvian yellow chilli paste)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 litres beef stock
- 75-100g vermicelli
- 3/4-1 cup milk
- 5 eggs
- Bread (optional)
- Heat up oil at medium temperature, add onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add beef, stir until fully cooked.
- Add tomatoes, chilli pastes and tomato paste, oregano, 1 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add stock, bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add vermicelli, let soften for a few minutes.
- Add milk, adjust seasoning and carefully drop eggs on the soup.
- Serve as soon as eggs are fully poached.