There’s nothing like a hot, comforting bowl of Mexican-inspired Tortilla Soup. This recipe takes all of the flavors of traditional tortilla soup and makes them even easier to enjoy with simple ingredients that can be readily found in any pantry. With just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious bowl of easy tortilla soup ready to enjoy any day of the week.
This classic tortilla soup recipe made with onions, tomatoes, and crunchy tortilla strips has been a staple in my house for many years. And although it hasn’t ever been published on my blog, I published it in my Cupboard Cooking Cookbook in 2010. Of course, I’ve updated the pictures and the recipe since then!
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Tortilla soup is broth-based and has a thin brothy consistency. The addition of tortillas is to thicken the soup.
Taco soup is more like chili in its consistency. It usually has beans and meat and is flavored with taco seasonings.
How to Make Tortilla Soup
Follow the easy step-by-step instructions to make the perfect tortilla soup.
The full printable soup recipe ingredients and instructions are available in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. You can find important tips and tricks in the post.
Oh, and this soup is easily doubled if you have a crowd or if you want to have lots of leftovers!
First, you’ll toast up the tortilla strips for the perfect crunch.
Tip: If you’re watching calories, you can skip frying the tortilla strips, and either heat them in a dry skillet or place them in the toaster oven to make them crispy. In a hurry? Just use bagged tortilla chips!
In a 2-quart saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add tortilla strips, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and light golden brown (this step may need to be done in two batches to get the most golden crispiness). Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Next, make the soup
In the same saucepan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat, and add the onion, stirring occasionally until the onion begins to caramelize, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Stir in broth, tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered, about 20 minutes.
Stir in tortilla strips and any add-ins. Garnish as desired.
Salt the soup to taste. I never have to use any additional salt. The broth is usually enough, but if you like more salt, add it at the end before serving.
According to Wikipedia, yes, tortilla soup is Mexican. “Tortilla soup (Spanish: sopa de tortilla) is a traditional Mexican soup made of fried corn tortilla pieces, submerged into a broth of tomato, garlic, onion, and chile[s].”
Discover the best things to accompany your tortilla soup.
- Tacos: try making Crock Pot Chicken Tacos, Lentil Tacos, or Sheet Pan Creamy Poblano Tacos
- Enchiladas: You’ll love Red Chile Enchiladas and Easy Black Bean Enchiladas
- Shrimp Quesadillas
- Chipotle Rice
- Chips & Guacamole
- Street Corn
- Beans, like my Crock Pot Bean Dip
- Wash it all down with a Mexican Mocha or Watermelon agua fresca
Change it up
Part of the fun of this Mexican tortilla soup recipe is getting to top it with whatever you like.
You could even make a toppings bar and let your family toss on whatever they want.
Some add ins or toppings suggestions: Black beans, avocado, sour cream, cotija cheese, shredded pepperjack cheese, toasted corn, radishes, black olives, chopped jicama, salsa, and lime wedges.
Make creamy tortilla soup by stirring some sour cream or heavy cream into the batch.
Make chicken tortilla soup by tossing in some chicken. Save time by using store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover shredded chicken meat.
This soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Or, pop it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Keep any extra tortilla strips separate from the soup, and in a ziptop bag at room temp for up to 5 days.
More Easy Soup Recipes
I love soup, and if you’re like our family, you eat it year-round. Here are some of my favorite easy soup recipes: Shrimp & Tomato Soup, Easy Black Bean Enchilada Soup, Cream of Garlic Soup, and Rosemary Orzo Soup.
Easy tortilla soup is the perfect combination of classic Mexican flavors with classic pantry ingredients. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner cook, you’ll find this dish easy to make and enjoyable to eat. Plus, it provides plenty of nutrition to boot.
By the way, did you know that cooking tomatoes actually increases the amount of Lycopene in them. Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomatoes, and heating tomatoes has been shown to increase the amount of lycopene that the body can absorb by breaking down the plant cells.
Now it’s your turn
This is a fast, easy, weeknight meal, and way better than from any restaurant!
Now that you’ve read about making easy Tex-Mex tortilla soup, it’s time to give it a try. Get all the ingredients you need from the grocery store and use the recipe provided to make your very own bowl of delicious tortilla soup.
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Easy Tortilla Soup
- 3 teaspoons olive oil divided use
- 4 corn tortillas (5 or 6-inch) cut into 2 x 6-inch strips
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth (3 ½ cups is 28 ounces)
- 10 ounces Ro-tel chopped tomatoes with green chilis undrained
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped (optional)
- In a 2-quart saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add tortilla strips, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and light golden brown (this step may need to be done in two batches to get the most golden crispiness). Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- In the same saucepan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat, and add the onion, stirring occasionally until the onion begins to caramelize, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in tortilla strips and any add-ins. Garnish as desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.