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Sopa de Tortilla (Vegetarian Tortilla Soup)

Jo made this classic Mexican soup for her Dia de Los Muertos cookery course last November and it’s become a firm favourite here at the cookery school. It is a real one-pot meal!

The secret to this soup is using a good stock. In Mexico it would traditionally be made with chicken stock, but we love a good homemade vegetable stock. The other thing to remember is that the pasilla chilli gives this soup a mild, warming heat which has a great flavour. If you use another type of dried chilli the heat of the soup will vary hugely - so be careful! You can also buy ground pasilla from specialist Mexican shops or online from The Spicery.

Make sure you have all your toppings ready to go before serving the soup. We like to have all the toppings on the table so everyone can choose their own. In Mexico you would spoon the soup over the top of a bowl of tortillas and cheese but you can garnish on top if you prefer.

Sopa de Tortilla

Serves: 4-6

Dietary: Gluten Free, Vegan Options


  • 1 dried pasilla chilli (long, wrinkly and black) or another dried chilli of your choice
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed, vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes or 400g chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 200ml tomato passata
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • the juice and zest of a lime, add the juice to taste
  • brown sugar to taste
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat a frying pan and dry fry the chilli for a few minutes so that it puffs up and changes colour. Remove the stem and seeds and then chop finely.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion slowly until it is soft and starting to caramelise.
  3. Add the garlic and chopped pasilla chilli to the onion and stir for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, passata, bay leaves and stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Taste and add salt, sugar and lime juice to your liking.
  6. You can leave the soup chunky or remove the bay leaves and blend until smooth (we use our Froothie Optimum 9200 Power Blender).
  7. Garnish the soup with the chopped avocado, cheese, tortillas, coriander and chilli; it is good to do this at the table so everyone can choose their toppings.


  • corn tortillas chopped into triangles and made into tortilla chips
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped into small cubes or slices
  • oil
  • salt
  • paprika
  • grated cheddar or crumbled feta (omit if vegan)
  • chopped coriander
  • chopped red chilli

To make homemade corn tortilla chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas5
  2. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the tortilla triangles and spread them over a large baking tray.
  3. Sprinkle with a little salt and smoked paprika and rub it into the tortillas.
  4. Roast for 5 minutes in the oven and then turn the tortilla chips over and cook on the other side until lightly browned and crispy.

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