Written by Karely Valdez
As winter approaches, I wanted to share a warm, yummy recipe to enjoy with friends and family during the cold season. This blog post includes a recipe for Sopa de Fideo, which is a Mexican Noodle Soup, which includes carrots and how to grow them during the winter season from your own backyard! If you are interested in learning more about different types of crops for each season, you can check out PICA’s How to Build a Crop Rotation and An Intro to Crop Rotations to learn more about planting zones, seasonal crops, strategic planting, as well as how to transfer into a new season. Alrighty, let’s get started! As mentioned previously, I will be including carrots in this recipe, which is a veggie that can be grown during the winter season! Growing Carrots Guidelines The winter season (Dec 1st- March 15th) are the coldest and the wettest months of the year, typically averaging more than 10 inches of rain per month. When harvesting crops during the winter season it is important to cover them, meaning you can either cover them with beds of hay or mulch (as seen below). This allows the crops to stay safe during frosty and lower temperatures in the season.
Carrots should be planted 3 weeks before the last expected frost and then plant every 2 to 3 weeks after that. They take about 50 to 80 days to mature, so make sure to cover your carrot beds with a 1 to 1½ foot deep layer of mulch. Carrots are a cold hardy crop, meaning that they are able to withstand cold weather but you should be mindful and cover them with mulch for further protection. You can also top the mulch with row covers and weigh it down with rocks to prevent the mulch from blowing away.
As your carrots begin to grow, thin them to 1 inch apart when the tops are 2 inches high. Don’t let your carrots be too crowded or you will produce crooked roots! Thin again in 2 weeks to 3 to 4 inches apart. Check out this video on How to Thin Carrots Three Different Ways! As the seeds continue to develop, continue to gradually add mulch to maintain even moisture and reduce weed problems. Once your carrots are big enough to eat you can begin harvesting them! You can hand pull them, loosening the soil with a trowel before you pull. You can also soften the soil by watering it a bit to make the carrots easier to pull. Sopa de Fideo Recipe Now that we have our carrots, let’s get into the recipe! Here is what you will need:
4 Roma tomatoes
½ white onion
2 garlic cloves
4 New Mexico chile pods
1 chile ancho
3 chiles de árbol (Optional! These are super spicy! I used 2)
1 cup carrots ofcourse :)
1 handful cilantro
10 cups of water
2 tbsp chicken bouillon (this can be substituted with your favorite stock or bouillon cubes to make it vegetarian/ vegan)
½ tsp whole black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
Peel potatoes and cut into small cubes. Place these bite sized potatoes into water and let them submerge. Grab your carrots and cut them into bite sized pieces and set them aside.
Grab your onion and cut it in half. Half of this onion should be cut into half moons and separated, while the other half can be set aside and will be used for your broth.
To make the broth, you will grab your 4 New Mexico chile pods and your Chile ancho. These should be washed and depotted, and take out the seeds from the inside. Add these to a pot, along with your 4 roma tomatoes and 3 chiles de arbol (these are optional, I only added 2). Cover with water and place on the stove on medium/high heat and wait for them to come to a boil.
Strain your chiles and tomatoes and place them in a blender along with your other half of the onion, 2 garlic cloves, cumin, black pepper, chicken bouillon (or choice of stock/ bouillon cubes), and 2 cups of water. Blend everything together until it is a smooth sauce.
Place 8 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, add oil to a separate large pot (big enough that will fit all your soup), add your cut onions and fideo. Now you will fry this until all your fideos have come to a golden color (about 2 minutes), make sure to move them constantly otherwise they will burn.
Once you have finished frying your fideo and onion, add your sauce and boiling water to the large pot. Let this cook for 10 minutes and add salt to your liking. Add your carrots, potatoes, and cilantro. Close your pot and let this cook for another 10 minutes or until your potatoes and carrots are fully cooked/soft.
You are all finished and ready to serve! This recipe was inspired by Claudia Regalado, check out her Youtube Channel, where she focuses on Mexican Inspired Dishes. Disclaimer: Many of her recipes contain meat and dairy, if you are vegetarian and vegan, these recipes can be modified to fit your needs. Nonetheless, these Mexican recipes are great! Resources