Tortilla Soup

These recipes assume you are proficient in the kitchen without detailed instructions (e.g., you can eyeball cook times on aromatics, know how to choose your pots/pans, adjust seasoning as you go, etc.)


a bowl of tortila soup topped with avocado, green onions, and corn chips

This soup is one of our weeknight go-to dinners. I usually make a double or triple batch and freeze in individual portions. We thaw two in the fridge overnight so at dinner time we only need to heat them up and add some toppings.


  • 1-2 dried chiles di ristra OR a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (depends on your preference for chunks), with no salt added
  • 1 taco-sized tortilla (I like flour but corn works fine, too)
  • 1 bouillon cube (optional)
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 yellow/white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • chipotle powder (optional)
  • toppings you like such as avocado, corn chips, and green onions

1. Mise en place

  • peel and mince the garlic
  • peel and medium dice the onion
  • drain and rinse the beans
  • halve the lime
  • if using dried chiles, trim and deseed them

2. Prepare the chile broth (or skip this step if using canned)

  • combine the chiles and 3 cups of water in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, then turn off heat and set aside

3. Cook the veggies

  • saute the onion and garlic until softened
  • add the cumin and oregano and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute
  • add the beans, tomatoes, sugar, and optional bouillon cube and bring to a low simmer

4. Make the soup

  • in a high-speed blender either:
    • add the rehydrated chiles, 2c of the soaking liquid, and the tortilla and process until smooth
    • OR add 1-2 TBS of chipotles in adobo, 2c water, and the tortilla and process until smooth
  • pour that mixture into the simmering beans, tomatoes, and aromatics, stir to combine and turn off heat
  • pour about half the soup into a high-speed blender and process until smooth (or adjust the amount you blend, depending on how smooth/chunky you like your soup)
  • pour the blended portion back into the unblended mixture, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer
  • remove from heat and stir in the juice from the lime
  • adjust seasoning (sugar, S&P, acid, add chipotle powder if more heat is desired)

 5. Plate your dish

  •  ladle into bowls, top with whatever you like


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