Friday, December 2, 2011

Sopa de Tortilla

This is my favorite tortilla soup of all time.  Everyone who has it likes it, although it isn't a "normal" tortilla soup.  Because it is hard to get some of the ingredients in Sweden, I make a lot of substitutions, but here is the real recipe.  I'll note if I use a substitution.


3 tablespoons canola oil
2 corn tortillas
1/2 cup chopped white Spanish onion (I just use a half cup of whatever onion we have)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (I usually use two or three)
1 small dried guajillo chile, stemmed, seeded, and broken into pieces (no guajillos here, so I have used chipotle and ancho chilles before.  And I usually use two.  Basically find a nice, dark red, dried, mexican chile and you should be okay)
1 small dried pasilla chile, stemmed, seeded, and broken into pieces.  (again, I can't always find this chile, so see above)
1/2 cup fresh epazote or 2 tablespoons dried epazote (I have no idea what this is, needless to say, it isn't in Sweden, so I don't use it.)
5 plum tomatoes, halved
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
I also add some cumin
1/2 cup or so cream (my addition)

diced avocado
diced chicken
creme fresh or sour cream
tortilla chips (I usually fry up some extra tortillas when I am making this, so you have extra to crumble on the soup)
chopped fresh jalapeno chiles
shredded cheese (I usually use Manchego, but any cheese would work)

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the tortillas and fry until crisp, turning over once, 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer the tortillas to paper towels to drain.  Break into pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil (I just use the leftover oil from frying the tortillas) over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, and saute until softened and lightly browned.  Add the dried chile pieces and epazote, and saute until the chile pieces are lightly colored on both sides, 30 - 45 seconds.  Stir in the tomatoes, tortilla pieces, and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes.

Working in batches if necessary (note that the above recipe all fits into my blender, so I don't have to do batches) pour the soup mixture into a blender and puree.  Pour into a medium-mesh sieve placed over a large bowl, and force the solids through with a rubber spatula.  Discard any solids left in the sieve.  (I don't put it through a sieve, I tried the first time, and it was a pain, and the soup taste fine without straining it this way.)

I then add about a half cup of cream.  This isn't in the recipe at all, but it makes it so it isn't too spicy and a bit creamier.  Go figure, if you add cream...

To serve:  Place in bowls and garnish with any of the above garnishes (hence them being called garnish!).

Lorena always asks for me to double the recipe so that she can freeze some and have it later.  It is also really good for dipping tortilla chips in.


  1. Yum, I'm going to have to try it. I'm impressed you make this!

  2. I think you made this when I was there in September, and it was delicious!

  3. Oh yeah, and it spilled out of the blender, and Michael started crying. It's all coming back to me now.

  4. I have a question about this soup: is it super spicy with all those chilies?

  5. If you don't scrape the seeds out of the chiles, then it is spicy - but my addition of the cream mellows it a little bit.

  6. I made this tonight. It wasn't nearly as good as yours, Rob. I will have to try again.

  7. PS the recipe doesn't say when to add the lime juice.

  8. Add the lime juice at the end - you add it individually to your own bowl