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Mexican Tortilla Soup

The presentation of this soup is so pretty...its zippy taste is even better! --Julie Ferron
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 50 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 medium dried ancho pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 6 corn tortillas (6 inches), halved and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) whole tomatoes, drained
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium lime, sliced and quartered


  • In a small bowl, combine the ancho pepper and water; let stand for 20 minutes or until pepper is softened. Drain and discard water; set pepper aside.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 1 in. of oil to 350°. Add half of the tortilla strips; cook and stir until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips; set aside.
  • Drain saucepan, reserving 2 teaspoons of oil. In reserved oil, cook the onion, garlic and ancho pepper over low heat until onion is golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor; add tomatoes. Cover and process until smooth.
  • Return mixture to the pan. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until mixture has thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, 10 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the cilantro, salt and, if desired, cayenne. Divide cheese and avocado among six bowls; top with the soup, tortilla strips and quartered lime slices.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 317 calories, 21g fat (7g saturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 1154mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 6g fiber), 11g protein.

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  • wmmartin3
    Oct 7, 2020

    This recipe is okay but very bland. The seasoning needed to be increased. I added chicken and corn to the basic recipe but it needed more salt and more cayenne pepper. My family does like Mexican dishes a little spicy so it may be too hot for your family. I could not even taste the cayenne and I doubled the measurement called for in the recipe. I liked the idea one reviewer had of thickening the soup as well and intend to try that. This is a good base recipe to launch from but by itself I would not make it again.

  • Meg
    Dec 17, 2016

    Loved this recipe, but adjusted a bit since I'm not a broth/thin soup person. I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned, so saut?ed with the peppers/onion/garlic to get them cooked. After the tomatoes/peppers/onion/garlic were saut?ed, I added 1/4 cup of flour and stirred to make a roux. Then I added all the contents of the saucepan plus half a block of cream cheese to the blender. After blending with the addition of cream cheese, I followed the recipe directions, but added a cup of milk instead of water, a shredded rotisserie chicken, corn, black beans, and cilantro to make it a more filling soup. Really you could add whatever meat and veggies you want to fill it out - I definitely recommend adding the cream cheese and milk though if you like a creamier soup. The roux also thickens, so those three are the main pieces to making it a filling soup. The recipe is a great base to get started with!

  • daf2dab
    Jan 29, 2013

    No comment left

  • kerrynjames
    Sep 10, 2012

    We loved this. Granted, I was unable to find the chili the recipe called for, so I used a seeded jalapeno. We also added some chicken (pre-cooked and cubed) and used store-bought tortilla chips (I'll admit to a bit of laziness). It was fantastic, though. Much better than the Mexican restaurant we visit!

  • skywaitress
    Jan 8, 2012

    I add rotisserie chicken and black beans. I also use the store bought tortilla strips, found in the crouton section. yum!

  • mommytutu
    Nov 5, 2009

    My husband and I ADORE this recipe. We did make a few minor changes to make it more filling.We marinate 1 chicken breast in about half a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Saute it and then shred it. Put that in your finished soup.And I also added about 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked rice to the finished soup.Also, we have substituted corn tortilla chips instead of making our own.But, totally one of the BEST soups we've ever made!!!!