01 August 2011

Sopa de tortilla (tortilla soup)

For as long as I can remember, I have loved Mexican sopa de tortilla (tortilla soup). Whether it's the thick kind where the tortillas and broth are pureed together to make a hearty base or the clear variety flecked with tortilla strips, nothing beats this spicy, savory soup! Years ago, I discovered this version from Bon Appétit magazine and have been making it ever since in endless variations. Corn and zucchini are my additions of choice, but I sometimes replace the zucchini with beans (preferably black or red). I usually add in the tortilla strips as they are at the end as explained here, but sometimes fry them a bit beforehand to have a crunch or use tortilla chips instead. The possibilities are endless! And best of all, this is a very healthy soup. Perfect for those who are counting calories, but delicious enough to satisfy anyone! Try it on its own or as the starter for a Mexican meal.

Adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 4

Nonstick cooking spray or 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups vegetable broth
4 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen is fine)
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons (or less if you want a milder version) chopped jalapeno
4 small corn tortillas, cut into strips
Queso fresco or feta, for topping
Lime wedges, for squeezing

1. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic with the cooking spray or oil over medium heat, until onions are translucent.

2. Add the tomato paste and cumin and chili powders and mix well. Then add the broth and 2 tablespoons of the chopped coriander. Bring to a boil. At this point, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes to blend the flavors.

3. Once the broth has simmered, add in the zucchini, corn, tomatoes, jalapeno and remaining 2 tablespoons of coriander. Cover and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or so, until the zucchini is tender.

4. When exactly you add the tortilla strips is up to you - do it just before serving if you want them to stay in tact, otherwise you can add them along with the zucchini and other ingredients if you don't mind them getting mushy. I personally like it either way, just depending on my mood!

5. Serve with the queso fresco/feta and lime wedges. The soup is great with lots of fresh lime juice squeezed in. And it tastes even better the next day reheated!

* For another great Mexican soup, try my Mexican Pumpkin Chipotle Soup!*


  1. Yummy mexican soup, dear! I loved the colour and the measurements of your ingredients. Sounds like a perfect soup!!

  2. Mmmmmm! That looks super yummy :) I haven't had a tortilla soup since I lived in Texas. Definitely have to give this one a try! Buzzed

  3. I'm definitely gonna try this one!

  4. Truly delicious n so colorful ~ Would love to grab that bowl right now :)
    US Masala

  5. A bowl right now with some crunchy tortilla strips would be very comforting right about now!

  6. This is one of my favorite soups. I tend to like the tortillas crisp. I love both your bowl and place mat it really works with the theme

  7. If only we could grab food from the web, I could yell soups on. It looks awesomely delicious.

  8. Tortilla soup was one of my favorites when I ate chicken. Your vegetarian version is amazing!

  9. This cuts down on the healthy factor a bit, but I like to drizzle the tortilla strips with a little oil and bake them until crispy, then put them in the bowls and ladle the soup over the top. Yum.

  10. Magnificent looking bowl of soup!
    Have you seen the movie "Tortilla Soup" with Hector Elizondo?

  11. I love tortilla soup. It's such a perfect lunch soup - it's so satisfying. I like the tortillas fried for a bit of crunch too.