Sopa de tortilla is one of the many comfort foods within the Mexican cookbook, thrifty and resourceful. This humble yet delicious is the perfect example of how Mexican families, wealthy or not, keep alive the tradition of never let go food go to waste.

The first memories I have of this recipe are of my grandmother Rebecca cutting leftover tortillas in strips and placing them on trays to dry and harden, I remember the earthy smell of fried totopos or chips and the chance to steal some crisp pieces and eating them hot.

The secret to a great tortilla soup is in the quality of the ingredients, authentic corn tortillas, ripe sweet tomatoes, a good chipotle adobo, creamy avocado, cream and a sharp cheese, the of course, comes nailing the perfect flavour balance.

Crisp or soggy?

Well, that is the question, some like their tortilla chips crisp and crunchy, whilst others prefer soft and well soggy, what matters is that you find the texture you like.

If you want to add an extra touch of flavour, you can add some pieces of pork scratchings.

Mexican Tortilla Soup

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4

Technically there is no cooking involved but preping as the soup will be assembled when plating it.

The secret to a good tortilla soup is the crisp nice chips with a very well seasoned, hot and piquant broth and you mustn’t allow the chips to get mushy as they will absorb the broth quite quickly.


  • Either 10 corn tortillas cut in strips or 4 cups of corn chips of the best quality you can find.
  • Frying oil
  • 4 big ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock
  • 1.5 lt water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 french onion
  • 4 guajillo chillies
  • 1 tsp chipotle adobo
  • Epazote leaves, a little bunch if fresh, a tbsp if dried.
  • salt & pepper
To garnish
  • 1 avocado
  • crubmly feta


To make the broth
  • Toast the chillies on a naked medium flame on both sides until they turn deep red and crisp but not burnt.
  • Open and discard the seeds and tails and boil with the onion, garlic and tomatoes on 2 cups of water for 7 minutes on a medium high flame.
  • Turn the heat off and let them cool off slightly; add the chipotle adobo, remove the skin of the tomatoes and blend to a purée. Don’t discard the water.
  • In a soup pan heat 2 tbsp of oil on a medium flame, lower and pass the purée through a sieve and fry it for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the water, the epazote and at this point you can add a little of salt, the stock cube and pepper, let simmer for 8 minutes on a medium heat.
To make the chips
  • In the meantime, using some kitchen scissors cut the tortillas in halves and then in strips of about .5 cm of width.
  • Ina deep pan or even a small pot, heat about 7 tbsp of oil and when is really hot toss the tortilla strips (in two batches) and gently move to fry evenly until very crisp and deep golden but not burn.
  • Remove and let cool on a paper towel while you continue with the second batch.

To serve
  • Slice the avocado
  • Cut the cheese in cubes or crumble roughly
  • When the broth is has thickened and the flavours have intensified then you can prepare deep bowls to serve.
  • Place a portion of chips on each bowl and add the broth on top then add the rest, garnish and serve hot.




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Food researcher, cook and author. Editor of SABOR! This is Mexican Food Magazine and producer of Pass the Chipotle podcast.

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