Join! 12 weeks for $1

Check out our latest issues.

Chef Eric Ripert teaches us how to make vegetables the star of the plate.

In Mumbai, we learned a home-cook friendly version of Butter Chicken.

Take a cooking class with us and our instructors from around the world.

NEW - 125 simple weeknight recipes from the world's healthiest cuisine.

1000+ hard-to-find items from around the world.

.
Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

40 minutes

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

Tortilla Soup

Free

Our take on sopa de tortilla is a simple, homestyle tortilla soup like the one made for us by home cook Jazmín Martínez in Mexico City. It is pureed for smoothness; contrasting colors, flavors and textures are added with garnishes. For the best results, ripe tomatoes are key—in non-summer months, we find Campari tomatoes to be a good option, as well as cherry or grape tomatoes. The tomatoes need only to be cored before they’re tossed into the pot (cherry or grape tomatoes can be used whole). Tortilla chips, called totopos in Mexico, are used in two ways: they’re cooked and pureed with the base to thicken the soup, then fresh chips are added to the serving bowls before the soup is ladled in.

4-6

Servings

Tip

Don’t blend all of the soup mixture at once. If the blender jar is too full with hot liquid, when the machine is turned on, the rapid burst of steam may loosen the lid and cause splattering.

40 minutes

2 tablespoons lard or neutral oil
1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
6 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded and sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 bunch cilantro, stems roughly chopped, leaves chopped, reserved separately
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (see note), cored
2 cups yellow or white tortilla chips, plus more to serve
1½ quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon white sugar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Sour cream or crumbled cotija cheese, to serve
Diced avocado, to serve (optional)
Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons lard or neutral oil

  • 1

    large white onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 6

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 2

    jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded and sliced

  • 1

    teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1

    bunch cilantro, stems roughly chopped, leaves chopped, reserved separately

  • 2

    pounds ripe tomatoes (see note), cored

  • 2

    cups yellow or white tortilla chips, plus more to serve

  • quarts low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1

    teaspoon white sugar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • Sour cream or crumbled cotija cheese, to serve

  • Diced avocado, to serve (optional)

.
In the store
More

Mains

Reviews
JENNIFER A.
June 23, 2022
The best tortilla soup
One of the best, most reliable recipes for tortilla soup. I add shredded rotisserie chicken
Amy P.

This recipe was delicious. So simple and fresh. Great recipe if you have an abundance of tomatoes from your garden. Nice change from other tortilla soups.

Gustavo C.

I made this recipe two times already. My family loves it. I would recommend adding a little shredded chicken along with the avocado.

Gustavo C.

I made this recipe two times already. My family loves it. I would recommend adding a little shredded chicken along with the avocado.

Thomas M.

Can canned whole tomatoes be used instead or with the supermarket tomatoes? The supermarket tomatoes tend to be pretty bland and mushy.

Lynn C.

Hi Thomas -

As you'll see in the note above, for this recipe we recommend ripe tomatoes. If you're lucky, you can still get some great fresh tomatoes at a local market or farmers market right now as the season is just winding down. If not, we recommend Campari, grape, or cherry tomatoes. We find these are still pretty flavorful even in the winter months.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

MARY P.

I've used canned (whole plum, weighed out two lbs after draining) and grape. We did not see a tremendous difference in flavor.

MARY P.

I've used canned (whole plum, weighed out two lbs after draining) and grape. We did not see a tremendous difference in flavor.

Thomas M.

A nice quick version of a recipe that can take a while to prepare. I used half supermarket tomatoes and a can of whole tomatoes and it came out tasting really good. I appreciate that the whole cilantro is used too. I could not find cumin seeds but the ground stuff worked OK. A splash of lime on when serving it added a nice flavor. I used an immersion blender and that probably cut some of the time. Just be careful not to splash any of the hot soup.

Janine W.

This was really delicious and easy to make. Definitely recommend trying.

Janine W.

This was really delicious and easy to make. Definitely recommend trying.

Sally S.

Easy, fresh, and delicious. I also substituted ground cumin and added some shredded chicken to make it more of a meal. I have made this twice, once with tomatoes from my garden and the second time with campari tomatoes. Both were delicious.

MARY P.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Nichole A.

Are the chips added to the recipe whole or crushed slightly? That would make a huge difference. 2 cups of the tortilla chips I have would be very few. Please specify or give weight. Thanks Milk Street!

Lynn C.

Hi Nichole -

The chips can be added whole. I checked in with the recipe developer, Diane Unger, and she says it's about 1 1/2 ounces of chips (if you have a scale) or 16 chips that are 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 as measured by the wide base and base to tip.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Laurie N.

I was excited to try this blended version of tortilla soup, as I have only had the broth-based soup before while living in Texas. It was so delicious and easy to make! I used grape tomatoes and added a squeeze of lime at the end, which really rounded out the soup nicely. An immersion blender is your best friend when making this type of soup :)

Astra F.

Holy what? this soup is amazing. I have been trying to perfect real tortilla soup for 25 years. I made two versions, because I have vegetarian friends. I preferred theirs more. Used zoup veggie broth, Campari tomatoes on the vine (I just took off stem and cut into quarters. Used serrano chilis as I was out of jalapeños. Amazing. I too w Mexican crema, cilantro, white onion and home fried tortillas (makes a difference with everything).


Down arrow

Tortilla Soup

Get Ready to Cook

4-6

Servings

40 minutes

Tip

Don’t blend all of the soup mixture at once. If the blender jar is too full with hot liquid, when the machine is turned on, the rapid burst of steam may loosen the lid and cause splattering.

Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons lard or neutral oil

  • 1

    large white onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 6

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 2

    jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded and sliced

  • 1

    teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1

    bunch cilantro, stems roughly chopped, leaves chopped, reserved separately

  • 2

    pounds ripe tomatoes (see note), cored

  • 2

    cups yellow or white tortilla chips, plus more to serve

  • quarts low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1

    teaspoon white sugar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • Sour cream or crumbled cotija cheese, to serve

  • Diced avocado, to serve (optional)

Step 1 of 3

Combine Ingredients In Pot

2
tablespoons lard or neutral oil
1
large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
6
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2
jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded and sliced
1
teaspoon cumin seeds
1
bunch cilantro, stems roughly chopped
2
pounds ripe tomatoes, cored
2
cups yellow or white tortilla chips
quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1
teaspoon white sugar

In a large pot over medium-high, heat the lard until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeños, cumin and cilantro stems, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Stir in the tomatoes, tortilla chips, broth and sugar. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to medium and cook, stirring, at a simmer, until the tomatoes have softened and their skins begin to peel away, about 10 minutes.

Step 2 of 3

Blend Soup

Remove the pot from the heat and cool, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Using a blender and working in batches so the jar is never more than half full, puree the mixture until smooth; transfer each batch to a large bowl.

Step 3 of 3

Taste, Season and Serve

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1
bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
Sour cream or crumbled cotija cheese, to serve
Diced avocado, to serve (optional)

Wipe out the pot, then pour in the puree. Cook over medium, stirring often, until heated, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir in half of the chopped cilantro leaves.


To serve, add tortilla chips to individual bowls, then ladle in soup. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped cilantro leaves and top with sour cream and avocado (if using).

Milk Street Bowtie Logo

Done!

Did you enjoy this recipe?

Want more?

See More Mains