If there’s any Pinoy recipe that truly tastes like home, it’s classic chicken sopas. Made out of a rich, milky chicken broth as well as ingredients like veggies and elbow macaroni, chicken sopas is the ultimate Pinoy comfort food. It’s perfect for warming up the body on a cold and rainy day, as well as the soul during instances of sickness, loneliness, or heartbreak.
You’ll definitely want a good chicken sopas recipe in your arsenal to cook for your family, friends, or special someone. Sopas is relatively easy to prepare on either a gas stove or using your trusty single-burner induction cooker. In addition, most of the cooking time is passive—meaning that you’ll probably spend most of it waiting for the ingredients to fully cook down (and drooling over the soup’s irresistible aroma).
For a batch of chicken sopas that will truly dispel the gloom of a rainy day—and have everyone who eats it craving seconds—follow the recipe below!
The Best Rainy-Day Chicken Sopas
Prep Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 ½ hours to 1 hour and 45 minutes
Serves 6-8 people
- 1 kg. cut-up chicken parts with bones
- 10 cups water
- 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 3 large hotdogs, sliced into bite-sized pieces
- ½ chicken bouillon cube or 1 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
- 1 ¾ cups elbow macaroni
- ½ cabbage, chopped into small strips
- 1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Place the chicken, whole peppercorns, and bay leaf into a large cooking pot. Cover these with 10 cups of water.
- Turn the stove up to medium heat and bring the water to a rolling boil. Cover the pot and cook the chicken until the meat is fork-tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the chicken parts from the water and wait for them to cool. Pull the chicken meat off the bones and shred the meat with two forks.
- Return the bones to the pot and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes. Carefully pour the broth through a strainer to separate it from the bones and other sediments. Set the strained broth aside to cool.
- In the same pot and over medium heat, sauté the minced garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened and the carrots are bright orange.
- Add the shredded chicken and the hotdog slices. Stir all the ingredients thoroughly together and cook for another minute.
- Pour the strained chicken broth over the solid ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the chicken bouillon cube or chicken bouillon powder. Stir until the bouillon cube or bouillon powder is fully dissolved into the broth.
- Add the elbow macaroni to the broth and stir. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the macaroni is al dente, or just slightly undercooked.
- Next, slowly add the chopped cabbage strips and cook for 3 minutes, until the cabbage has slightly softened. Pour the evaporated milk into the pot and stir until the soup ingredients are thoroughly combined. Boil the soup for another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping-hot.
Some Tips for Cooking the Best Batch of Chicken Sopas Ever
- Though the recipe above provides estimates for cooking time, there’s no need to follow them to the letter—especially if you’re using an induction stove, which can heat your pan faster and thus allow for shorter boiling and sauteing times. Base your approach on the doneness of the ingredients, like the softness of the chicken meat or the macaroni. Be careful not to burn your aromatics, like your minced garlic and chopped onion, or else your sopas might end up tasting bitter.
- Be sure to taste your sopas broth after both the chicken and the hotdog slices have been fully cooked, as well as after you’ve added seasonings like the chicken bouillon. This will help you determine whether the broth is too salty or too bland. If it’s the former, add hot water in ½ cup installments until it’s diluted enough to your liking. If it’s the latter, you can opt to season the broth with a pinch of salt or chicken powder, or to add the remaining chicken bouillon cube.
- Many people like soft macaroni in their chicken sopas. But if you like your pasta a little firmer to the tooth, you can shorten the cooking time of your macaroni by a couple of minutes.
- The star of this sopas dish is obviously the chicken. If you prefer not to eat yours with sliced hotdogs, you can simply omit them from the recipe. Alternatively, you can replace the hotdogs with some sliced Vienna sausage or even some sliced ham. Sopas is best enjoyed when the ingredients are fully to your liking!
Save this recipe for the next time it’s storming outside—or even sooner than that, if you can’t wait. Who are you most excited to share this mouthwatering chicken sopas with?