Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Chicken Sopas (Filipino Chicken Noodle Soup) #recipe by Mia P. Manansala (@MPMtheWriter)

My house has awful lighting; the soup isn't really this yellow/orange

With the freezing weather we’re experiencing in Chicago and the rollercoaster of a year that is 2021, we all deserve something tasty and comforting. And what’s more comforting than chicken noodle soup? The Filipino version uses macaroni noodles and Vienna sausages, and is slightly creamy thanks to the addition of evaporated milk. 

My father used to make this all the time because it’s easy, affordable, and hearty enough to be a meal in itself. Sometimes he’d make it from scratch, simmering and shredding bone-in chicken pieces, and other times he’d utilize the leftovers from a grocery store rotisserie chicken to stretch it out to one more meal. You can even use cut-up boneless breasts and thighs if you don’t want to deal with bones. It won’t be as rich, but it’ll still be tasty; just make sure to add more bouillon or seasoning to compensate. This soup is adaptable to what you have available.


  • 1-2 lb chicken thighs, breasts, and/or legs (cut up, if boneless)
  • 6 cups water or chicken broth/stock
  • 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes (if you’re using water)
  • 2 cups macaroni*
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, or a tsp of garlic powder
  • ½ small cabbage, chopped (optional)
  • 1 big bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 big stalk celery (optional)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 can evaporated milk (can use fresh milk, if desired)
  • 1 can Vienna sausage or a couple of hotdogs, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Toppings (optional):

Hard/medium boiled eggs

Lemon or calamansi juice


  1. Heat oil to medium-high and sauté bone-in chicken pieces. Make sure to get them nice and brown.
  2. Add the chopped carrots, onions, and celery (if using) and sauté together until soft.
  3. Add cut up boneless chicken pieces, Vienna sausages, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, stir together, then add broth/water and bouillon.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about half an hour. Skim any scum that rises to the top.
  5. If using bone-in meat, check for doneness. You can leave it on the bone or take it out now to shred then add back to the pot. I used small wings and drumsticks (the only bone-in chicken I had at the time) and just left them on the bone. Your choice.
  6. *EDIT: if cooking the macaroni in the broth, add it now and cook until al dente (follow the package instructions. Otherwise, boil the macaroni in water in a separate pot according to package instructions.
  7. Add the chopped cabbage and wait a few minutes for it to wilt, then stir it in.
  8. Shake the can of evaporated milk, then add to the pot.
  9. Stir everything together and taste to check for seasoning. At this point, I added more black pepper and a splash of patis (fish sauce).
  10. Serve with your toppings of choice. I went with a medium-boiled egg (whites set but yolk still creamy) and a squeeze of lemon.
  11. Enjoy!

It’s been years since I’ve had this soup, so I totally forgot that macaroni noodles are thirsty little buggers and will drink up all the broth if you leave the noodles in the soup overnight! I woke up the next morning looking forward to another bowl and found this:

Where did all my broth go?!

So if you don’t have a large family that will eat it right away, I suggest cooking the macaroni noodles separately and adding them to your bowl for each serving. They won’t be as tasty, but at least you won’t have to deal with soggy noodles and having to add extra broth each time you reheat it!

The cast of characters (not pictured: Vienna sausage)

Saute bone-in chicken. They should be much browner than this. Don't be lazy like me.

Add chopped carrots and onions and saute till soft. I used a food processor for this because I like them really fine.

Add seasonings, Vienne sausages or hot dogs, and chopped boneless meat

Add broth and bring to a boil.
Skim scum from the top of the soup. Mine is a strange color because the carrots were so finely chopped.
Add cabbage. This looks like a lot, but it wilts down to almost nothing. Once wilted, stir into the soup.

Add macaroni and stir. Again, only add this if you plan on eating the majority of the soup right away. Otherwise, boil in water in a separate pot.

Add the evaporated milk and check for seasoning. Again, the soup isn't really this yellowish orange; my lighting is terrible.

What’s your favorite cold weather comfort food? Does your family have a go-to chicken soup recipe? Let me know in the comments!

If you liked this recipe, make sure you sign up for my newsletter! I include a Filipino-themed recipe every month, and March’s newsletter will feature an exclusive excerpt from my debut ARSENIC AND ADOBO!

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  1. Thank you for posting today. This looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing. When I was young, mom started this tradition on really cold days. Tomato soup and grilled cheese with a side of fruit. To this day this is one of my go to's. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    1. I didn't grow up with tomato soup and grilled cheese, but it's become one of my favorite comfort foods. Thanks for sharing, Lori.

  2. My daughter loves to make soup from scratch with whatever veggies and other ingredients we have around the house. Her soups are always delicious and healthy. I like to make The Pioneer Woman's 7 can soup - it is so easy and you can change around the ingredients according to your appetite.

    Thanks for sharing your Chicken Soaps recipe, and I look forward to reading Arsenic and Adobo ~

    1. I meant Sopas! That darn autocorrect ~

    2. Thanks so much, Celia! Like your daughter, I'm a big fan of "cleaning out the fridge/pantry" type meals, so soup and pasta are on constant rotation in my kitchen.

  3. We love soup and this puts a new (to us) spin on it I love the fried egg on top. Thanks, Mia!

    1. Mary Jane, I believe the egg is (less than) hard boiled, not fried.

    2. Thanks, Mary Jane! A fried egg is one of my favorite toppings, but for this particular soup, I find hard-boiled or medium-boiled eggs work better.

  4. Looks tasty. Interestingly little seasoning.
    You discuss the macaroni, but don't have it in the directions.

    1. Hi Libby, thanks for commenting! Because this soup usually uses bouillon, which tends to be heavily salted, I call for salt, pepper, (and if you have it, fish sauce) to be added at the end once you have a chance to taste and adjust the seasonings.

      And I just noticed the omission! Thanks for pointing it out, I'll edit to add the macaroni step.

  5. Hi Mia! My kids love chicken noodle soup and this recipe looks different and delicious. Thank you for sharing!