This Sopa de Tortilla Azteca is an extremely easy and delicious version of the classic Mexican tortilla soup. Add chipotle peppers for a smoky and spicy result or leave out for a kid-friendly version. Either way you'll have a comforting dish that's great served as a meatless lunch or a first course for dinner.
I love being able to share with you some of my favorite recipes from when I was growing up. It is even better when the recipes stand the test of time and remain favorites in my adult years, such as Chicken Flautas with Jalapeño Sour Cream, Avocado Tostadas and Huevos con Tortilla.
Today's post is for another one of those recipes. Whenever my mom would ask me for ideas of what to make for dinner, sopa de tortilla was almost always one of my answers. Now I love to make it for my husband and kids who also love this luscious soup topped with crispy tortilla strips and other tasty toppings.
What is Sopa De Tortilla?
Sopa de Tortilla, also known as sopa Azteca, is a classic, comforting Mexican tortilla soup. Its preparation is pretty simple and the versions of the recipe can vary from one family to another.
In essence though, the soup consists of a tomato soup base usually made with some sort of chile and topped with fried tortilla strips, avocado, and cheese.
Why You'll Love This Tortilla Soup Recipe
- Kid-Friendly: Kids will have more to love than just the tortilla strips. This sopa de tortilla is a great kid-friendly version because the broth can be made without chiles. My kids love it, and that is saying a lot because my daughter is a self-proclaimed tomato hater.
- Meatless Dish: A great meatless dish to serve if you're vegetarian, or for a Meatless Monday, or during Lent.
- Easy to Make: Great to whip up on weeknights because it is super easy to make. The most time-consuming part of the whole dish is cutting and frying the tortilla strips, which is really not hard at all.
- Wholesome Ingredients: Made with vegetables, spices and healthy fats, and accompanied by crispy, whole-grain corn tortilla strips.
- Customizable: Add chipotle peppers for a deliciously smoky and spicy version or leave out and top with Mexican hot sauce for a less spicy variation.
- Corn Tortillas: Use your favorite brand of corn tortillas.
- Oil: Choose an oil with a neutral or mild flavor that has a high smoke point. I like to use avocado oil because it has a high smoke point and many health benefits.
- Roma Tomatoes: For the best tasting soup, use ripe tomatoes that are firm, but have a little give when pressed gently or squeezed.
- Spices: A combination of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper add great seasoning to the soup.
- Tomato Sauce: Use low-sodium tomato sauce to have better control over the salt ratio.
- Chipotle Chiles (optional): I omit this ingredient for my kid-friendly version, but my mom's recipe always included one or two chipotle peppers in adobo sauce which add smokiness and spice.
- Cheese: Use grated white Mexican cheese like a muenster, Chihuahua or asadero or a crumbled cheese like queso fresco or cotija.
- Avocado: The best avocados are dark green, almost black, and yield slightly when gently squeezed. They should not be overly hard, overly soft, or mushy.
- Hot Sauce: This is a great topping especially if you don't add any chipotle peppers. The hot sauce is a great complement to the tomato flavor and adds a touch of spice. My favorite one to use is Valentina.
See recipe card for quantities.
Water is used to add volume to the soup, but you can certainly substitute the water with chicken or vegetable broth for added flavor.
How to Make Sopa de Tortilla
1. Make the Tortilla Strips
- Cut the tortillas into quarters and then into thin strips.
2. Fry Tortilla Strips
- Heat oil in a deep pan or pot.
- Add a handful of the tortilla strips and fry until golden.
- Place the fried tortilla strips in a paper towel covered bowl to drain.
- Repeat process with remaining strips.
3. Make the Soup
- Boil tomatoes in water until soft.
- Peel the tomatoes and add them to a blender.
- Blend the tomatoes with the spices, tomato sauce, and chipotle peppers (if using).
4. Heat the Soup
- Add 2 teaspoons of oil to a pot over medium heat. Pour the soup into the pot with the oil.
- Let the soup heat through.
- Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
- To serve, ladle desired amount of soup into bowls.
- Top with a handful of tortilla strips. I always place the bowl of tortilla strips on the table so people can pile on more tortillas into their soup if they wish.
- Add a sprinkle of shredded cheese, diced avocado, and a few drops of your favorite hot sauce to each bowl.
What to Serve with Sopa Azteca
This soup can be served by itself as an easy lunch or accompany with roast chicken, steak, or one of the following for dinner:
How to Store and Reheat
Store the soup without the tortilla strips or garnishes.
It should be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.
Leftover tortilla strips can be stored in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 5 days.
To reheat, pour the soup in a small pot over medium heat or microwave in a microwaveable safe bowl until heated through. Then, top with tortilla strips and garnishes.
Tips and Variations
- If your household is anything like mine, be sure to fry some extra tortillas. Little hands tend to eat many of the fried strips before the soup is ready to serve. My mom told me my grandmother had the same problem when my mom and her siblings would sneak into the kitchen and steal handfuls of crispy strips.
- For a vegan or dairy-free version, just leave out the cheese or use a vegan cheese.
I hope you enjoy! If you give this recipe a try please leave me a comment with a star rating below. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to stay in touch, and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter.
Sopa de Tortilla Azteca
- Frying pan or skillet
- Small pot or Dutch oven
- 10 corn tortillas
- ½ cup oil for frying (either avocado or vegetable)
- 3 medium Roma tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 8 oz low-sodium tomato sauce
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional, see notes)
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup shredded or crumbled cheese Mexican muenster, Chihuahua, queso fresco or cotija
- 1 diced avocado
- hot sauce
- Take the corn tortillas and cut them into fourths. Then cut the quarters into thin strips.
- Heat about an inch and a half of oil in a deep pan or pot. Once hot, but not smoking, add a handful of the tortilla strips. Let the tortilla strips crisp up. Remove from the oil when they are a nice golden color.
- Place the fried tortilla strips in a paper towel covered bowl. Continue cooking the tortilla strips until all of them are fried. Set them aside.
- Next, boil the tomatoes in water until soft. Peel the tomatoes and add them to a blender.
- Blend the tomatoes along with the garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, salt, tomato sauce, water, and chipotle peppers (if using).
- Add 2 teaspoons of oil to a medium Dutch oven or pot on medium heat. Once the ingredients are completely blended and smooth, pour the soup into the pot with the oil.
- Let the soup heat through, for about 5 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust to your taste preference.
- Serve the hot soup in a bowl. Top with a handful of tortilla strips, a sprinkle of shredded or crumbled Mexican cheese, diced avocado, and a few drops of your favorite hot sauce.
- Serve immediately before the tortilla strips lose their crunchiness.
- Kid-friendly version: Omit the chipotle peppers so the soup doesn't come out spicy.
- Hot sauce is a great topping especially if you don't add any chipotle peppers. The hot sauce is a great complement to the tomato flavor and adds a touch of spice.
- Water is used to add volume to the soup, but you can certainly substitute the water with chicken or vegetable broth for added flavor.
Originally published April 4, 2019. Updated post March 2023.
*drools* omg this looks so good!
Thank you so much.
This looks amazing! 🙂 I will try this out.
Wonderful! Let me know what you think.
This looks so fantastic and healthy.I think I should surely try this in the coming morning.
That sounds great! I hope you like it. Let me know if you do try it.
Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
Oh how delicious! 🙂
Will definitely be saving this - need to try soon. It looks so lovely and comforting.
Oh good, I love it. I hope you try it out.
Mama Writes Reviews
This looks absolutely delicious! I'd think this would be great with beans in it too.
I've never tried it, but beans are good with everything!
Looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I can't wait to try it!!!
Thank you! It is very good. I hope you give it a try.
Patricia @ Grab a Plate
This looks delicious! I love recipes from when I was young, from family!
Thank you. I agree, the memories almost makes them taste even better.
Yum! This sounds so good! I love all soup and all Mexican food so this is like heaven in a bowl!
That's so funny and sweet. It is pretty delicious, and the bonus is that it is easy to make.
This sounds so good! My daughter will love it. I will have to try it!
Oh good. Let me know if you do try it.