Discovering the Rich Heritage of Sopa de Tortilla: A Taste of Mexican Tradition

tortilla soup with avocado

šŸ‡²šŸ‡½ When it comes to the culinary treasures of Mexico, Sopa de Tortilla, also known as Tortilla Soup, stands as a cherished masterpiece. This soul-warming dish has deep roots in central Mexico and is celebrated for its diverse variations. Whether it's adorned with succulent shredded chicken, the smoky allure of roasted poblano peppers, or even the delightful crunch of chicharrones, this soup is a testament to Mexican culinary creativity.

A Soup Steeped in History šŸ“œ

The origins of Sopa de Tortilla can be traced back to ancient Aztec cuisine, where maize (corn) was a staple. Tortillas, the cornerstone of this soup, were a dietary mainstay in the Aztec diet. These humble, unleavened flatbreads played a crucial role in the formation of this beloved dish.

A Symphony of Flavors and Textures šŸ²

What elevates Sopa de Tortilla from a simple broth to a culinary masterpiece are its garnishes. Imagine the crispiness of tortilla strips dancing in a rich tomato-based broth, accentuated by the creaminess of diced avocados. Every spoonful is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, from the crunch of fried tortillas to the velvety richness of avocado chunks.

A Tradition Passed Down Generations šŸ”

Sopa de Tortilla transcends the boundaries of time and geography. It's a dish that transcends generations, with each family adding its unique twist. From grandmothers to grandchildren, the art of making this soup is passed down through the ages, preserving the essence of Mexican culture.

šŸ•’ Preparation Time: 10 minutes

šŸ³ Cooking Time: 25 minutes

šŸ½ļø Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 2 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1/3 of a medium white onion
  • 6 cups (1 1/2 quarts/1.4 L) of chicken broth, with extra on hand if needed
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) of vegetable oil, divided
  • 6 corn tortillas (day-old ones work best)
  • 1 sprig of epazote (approximately 4 leaves)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 or 2 pasilla peppers, sliced into rings

Garnishing and Serving:

  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and diced
  • 1 cup (125 g) of panela cheese, cubed into small pieces
  • Mexican crema
  • Lime wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 225 g) of shredded cooked chicken (optional)
  • 1 roasted poblano pepper, cut into strips (optional)
  • Chopped onion, to taste (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, to taste (optional)


  1. Begin by preheating a comal or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Roast the tomatoes, garlic, and onion until they're nicely charred. Once roasted, peel the tomatoes and garlic.
  2. Take the roasted vegetables and place them in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding approximately 1 cup (240 ml) of chicken broth if necessary.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the tomato sauce and cook for about 3 minutes. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken and darken.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, slice the tortillas into thin strips, approximately 2 inches (5 cm) long and 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide. Set them aside.
  5. Pour the chicken broth into the sauce, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes. Add the epazote and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
  6. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of oil and fry the tortilla strips until they turn crispy and golden, approximately 4 minutes. To avoid overcrowding, fry them in batches. Once done, use a slotted spoon to remove the fried tortillas and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate to get rid of excess oil.
  7. In the same remaining oil, quickly fry the pasilla pepper rings until they become crispy. As soon as they reach that state, remove them from the oil and set them aside.
  8. Now it's time to serve! Ladle the soup into medium-sized bowls and generously top them with the crispy tortilla strips. Place all the garnishes in separate serving dishes, allowing everyone to customize their bowls to their liking.


  • Some prefer not to roast the tomato, onion, and garlic.
  • You can enhance the sauce by adding a soaked pasilla pepper along with the other ingredients in the blender during step 2.
  • When working with fresh tortillas, it's a good idea to dry them before frying. You can do this by cutting them into strips and leaving them on your kitchen counter overnight, covered with a paper towel, or by placing them in the oven at 250Ā°F (120Ā°C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Baking the tortilla strips is another option, done at 350Ā°F (175Ā°C) for 8 to 10 minutes.
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