Classic Tortilla Soup

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 56 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 41 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
Share This Recipe



4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

4 large plum tomatoes

1 small white onion, or a 1-inch-thick slice of a large white onion, peeled

1 medium dried New Mexico chile, stemmed, seeded and torn into large pieces

2 corn tortillas, torn into 1-inch pieces

6 cups chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tortilla Strips:

Vegetable oil, for shallow frying

6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips


Mexican sour cream or regular sour cream

2 avocados, peeled and diced into 1/2- inch cubes or slices

Queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled

Fresh cilantro

Lime wedges


  1. For the soup: Heat a heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic, tomatoes, onion and New Mexico chile in the pan. Using tongs, turn the vegetables occasionally during cooking to ensure charring on all sides. Remove the vegetables once slightly blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the peel from the garlic. Add the charred vegetables to the blender with the tortilla pieces and 2 cups chicken broth. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and add the remaining 4 cups chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. For the tortilla strips: In a medium, heavy skillet, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
  3. To serve: Ladle the soup into 6 individual serving bowls. Serve with sour cream, avocados, cheese, tortilla strips, cilantro and lime wedges on the side.

Cook’s Note

BLENDING HOT LIQUIDS: When blending hot liquids, remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid; that prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times, then process on high speed until smooth. The blended corn tortillas act as thickeners. This soup should not be as thick as a cream soup, but should have some body.

Fudge Factor

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

How-To: Chocolate Cream Puffs

Make this classic and elegant French dessert using our step-by-step guide.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …

Easy Gift Idea: Chocolate-Covered Toffee Feb 7, 2013

Looking for an easy gift idea? Cooking Channel's recipe for Chocolate-Covered Toffee is just the ticket. A touch of coffee in the …

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

How to Make Truffles

Learn how to make a chocolate lover's favorite treat: the classic truffle made from smooth chocolate ganache.