Communal Beat

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup 

Serves 6-8 

Tortilla soup

A piping hot bowl of soup is the ultimate comfort food during the chilly winter months. Rich, soulful and satisfying, this spicy Mexican tortilla soup is one my favorites.  Classic tortilla soup, as you would find it on the streets of Mexico City, is simply a good chicken stock combined with roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, and tortillas. Add whatever toppings you like.  My favorites are crispy fried tortilla strips, avocado, cilantro, fresh lime juice and chilies.

Spice it up to clear your senses and enjoy!

Thank you Dianna Kennedy, author of the Art of Mexican Cooking, for your recipe and inspiration.


5 large tomatoes or one 28 oz. can tomatoes

One onion diced

2 cloves of garlic chopped

6 sprigs cilantro

¼ cup canola oil

8 cups chicken stock, make your own  or use a good quality store bought stock

1 cup frozen corn kernels (I like to use canned hominy, a corn treated with a dilute of lye, lime or wood ash that has the flavor of corn tortillas)


Broil the tomatoes in the oven until there are some burned patches. This is a wonderful flavor enhancer.  Toss the onion, cilantro and garlic in a blender. Add the tomatoes and blend until well mixed but still has some rough texture. Heat the canola oil in your pot. Dump the tomato mixture on top- it will sizzle. Once the mixture has darkened slightly add your chicken stock and corn or hominy. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes.

Topping Options!

Dry pasilla chilies, they aren’t too spicy and give a rich flavor to the broth, more often I use a shot of hot sauce. Cholula is my favorite these days.

To make the tortilla strips, take corn tortillas, not flour, and cut them into ¼ inch strips, fry in canola oil until crispy. Set aside on paper towels. If you don’t want the extra fuss you can always crumble corn tortillas chips into the soup but the strips are so much better.

Other topping options are diced avocado, shredded cheese, fresh chopped cilantro, diced  cooked chicken,  sour cream, finely diced onion and fresh lime juice.


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