"Sopa seca" literally translates to "dry soup". A friend of ours from Mexico served this delicious rice sidedish to us and I enthusiastically went about finding a recipe for it. This is from the cookbook Mexican: Healthy Ways With a Favourite Cuisine by Jane Milton. A more glutinous rice dish than the ever popular Spanish rice. Is this an authentic Mexican recipe? I don't know, but I do know we like this dish!
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 7 ounces fresh tomatoes or 7 ounces canned tomatoes, okay to include the juice
- 1⁄2 white onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 -2 garlic clove, cut up roughly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable stock (try to use homemade stock for really good flavor!) or 2 cups chicken stock (try to use homemade stock for really good flavor!)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 fresh chili pepper, of your choice (we like jalapeno for kick)
- 3⁄4 cup fresh green peas or 3⁄4 cup frozen green pea
- fresh ground black pepper
- In a large heatproof bowl, pour boiling water over the rice enough to cover. Stir only once, and let stand 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a colander over the sink and rinse rice under cold water. Drain again. Set rice aside, spread out on a cookie sheet to dry slightly. (I usually do this first thing in the morning.).
- In the meantime, put the tomatoes, onion, garlic and half of chili pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth like salsa. Set tomato mixture aside.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy saute pan and cook rice until a light golden brown color. Stir constantly so that rice does not burn, scraping bottom of pan with spatula because the rice grains will stick.
- Next add the pureed tomato mixture and keep stirring over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. If mixture starts to boil, reduce heat. *Stir in the stock, salt, and green peas. Continue to cook the mixture on low-medium heat stirring occasionally until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, another 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
- *NOTE: DO NOT stir rice too often after adding the stock or the grains will become too starchy.
- The original directions say to remove pan from heat, cover with tight-fitting lid; letting stand in a warm place 10 minutes or so. I remove pan from heat, cover and place pan in low oven, at approximately 150-200 degrees. Sometimes I'll let the rice set in the oven for a good hour or longer, as long as the rice grains are tender and rice doesn't dry out too much.
- Transfer the cooked rice to a serving platter, fluff with fork and serve sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with thinly sliced chilis or serve on side.