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Shrimp, Ancho Chile, and Pasta Soup (Sopa seca de Camarones y Fideos)

An Olive Oil Recipe

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Prep Information

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes


4 people


  • 2 dried ancho chilies (each 4-5 inches long)
  • 3 Tablespoons Biancolilla EVOO
  • 6 oz. dried vermicelli, broken in thirds
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb. (30-35 per lb.) peeled, deveined shrimp, tails left on
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • Diced avocado (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • NOTE: This is an interpretation of a Sunset Magazine recipe.
  • Break off the stems of the chiles and shake out the seeds. Put the chiles in a small bowl, cover them with hot water and let stand until softened (5-10 minutes). Drain and then chop coarsely.
  • Pour the Biancolilla EVOO into a large nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add pasta, stir and turn often with tongs until almost golden (3-5 minutes). Stir in anise and cumin seeds, onion, and garlic. Lift pasta so it mostly sits on top of onion mixture, then cook onion mixture, stirring often, until softened, 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in chiles and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer (3 minutes). Add shrimp and simmer until pasta is tender to the bite, 3-4 minutes more. Season to taste with salt.
  • Spoon soup into wide, shallow bowls. Top each bowl with a spoonful of sour cream and slices of avocado. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (optional).
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