Sopa de tortilla

Preparation info

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Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

For centuries, Mexico has harvested golden ears of corn, grinding the kernels into a dough called masa, the base for tortillas, the ‘bread’ of Mexico. This classic Mexican soup combines chilli, tomato, avocado, and a hit of lime, and is topped with a frizz of crisp fried tortilla strips.


  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 onion, cut into four
  • 4 tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth, hot
  • ½ tsp ground, roasted cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 dried pasilla chillies or 1 tsp chilli powder
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas, a day old
  • 3 tbsp oil for frying
  • 1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
  • 2 tbsp fetta or cheddar cheese, crumbled
  • 2 limes, cut in half


Place garlic cloves, onion and tomatoes in roasting pan. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 20 to 30 minutes until soft and coloured. Whizz in food processor until smooth.

Heat oil in frypan, and add tomato purée and cook, stirring for around 5 minutes until it starts to thicken.

Add chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring. Add ground cumin and salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Roast chillies in a dry pan until smoky but not blackened. Crush into pieces and set aside. Cut tortillas into thin strips, using a pair of scissors. Heat oil in a small frypan. Add tortilla strips a few at a time, and fry until crisp. Drain well.

Divide soup among warm bowls. Top with sliced avocado, crumbled cheese and crushed chillies. Pile crisp fried tortilla strips on top and serve with cut limes on the side.