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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup
Sopa de Tortilla

Serves: 6

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3 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded

1 pound ripe tomatoes

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 cups chicken broth

1 sprig fresh parsley

12 corn tortillas, cut into 1- to 2-inch strips

1 ancho or pasilla chile, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1-inch strips and quickly fried (optional, for garnish)

Vegetable oil, for frying

8 ounces queso fresco, diced

1/2 cup Mexican-style cream, crème fraiche or sour cream

1 ripe Mexican avocado, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and diced

To Prepare

Set a comal or skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, toast the guajillo chiles for about a minute per side.

In a medium saucepan, place the toasted guajillos, tomatoes, and garlic clove and cover with water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes, until tomatoes are fully cooked and mushy, and the guajillos have rehydrated and plumped up.

Place the guajillos, tomatoes, garlic and onion in a blender, along with 1 cup of the simmering liquid and salt. Puree until completely smooth.

In a large soup pot, heat the 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, but not smoking, pour in the tomato puree. It will sizzle, make noise and smoke. Partially cover with a lid, if you need to. Let the puree cook, season and thicken, changing from a bright red to a darker red and thicker consistency, for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the chicken broth, add the parsley sprig and once it comes to a simmer, continue simmering for another 10 minutes. Before serving, remove the parsley sprig.

To prepare the garnishes: Fry or bake the tortilla strips. Flash fry the ancho or pasilla chile strips, literally 5 seconds in already hot oil in a skillet set over medium heat, drain in a paper towel.

Serve in soup bowls. Add a handful of tortilla crisps, and let people decide how much cream, queso fresco, chile crisps and avocado to add to their bowls. Or, if you don’t want to give anyone a choice, place all the garnishes in the soup plates, and pour the hot soup into the bowls at the table.



Hi Pati,
I made your tortilla soup for dinner tonight and the whole family loved it!! I have tried many of your recipes now and have Never been disappointed! Thanks for sharing:)

Thanks for writing!

Hola Pati,

I just wanted to say how much my husband Ruben and I enjoy your show. This season is amazing, I love seeing you with your family. Your spunky attitude is a joy! We are really loving your recipes.



Beatriz, Thank you so much for your lovely message – and for watching!! So excited to hear you like the new season!

Hola Pati,
You are awesome ! Thanks for your flavorful. Recipes .

Hola Trish! Thank you!!

Saw your show for the first time today and plan to try your tortilla soup and lime pound cake soon. Think it will be nice to make some authentic mexican food

Hi Pamela, So happy you found the show! Thank you for watching. I hope you do try the tortilla soup & lime pound cake. Let me know what you think of them…

Hello Pati! Your recipes look great! I plan to try several of them within the next couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing. Much success!

Thanks for your message Claudette!

Hola Ms. Pati,
I am so engulfed in your show and love to watch you shine in the kitchen. You make everything look so easy and beautiful. I absolutely adore the way you interact with your sons in the kitchen.
I have two twin 8 year old boys and all i hear is ‘Mom, im hungry’. They have a bottomless stomach. I enjoyed your sons expression when he was eating the Shredded Flank Steak in Green Salsa. I need to keep my little men’s stomache full.
You are a very beautiful person inside and out and I wish you much success in all of your endeavors. :)

-Gloria (Houston, Texas)

Many thanks Gloria!!! I hear you when you say your kids say “mom, I’m hungry”….

Loved your show making your soup tomorrow. Wish me luck…
Looked so good.
Thanks so much.

You will make an awesome soup, Lynda!

I saw your show for the first time a couple of weeks ago and just had to TAPE it! You make cooking for your family look like such a pleasure~ I wanted to immediately make the soup and pound cake, but didn’t have the ingredients handy. SO glad for your website. Thanks for all the happiness you exude on your show. Love it~

Thank you for your message, Shay!


Loved your show with the tortilla soup! Could you please let me know how spicy/hot the chilies are that are in the recipe? Many thanks,

Hi Karen,
The guajillos are barely spicy and the anchos are mildly hot… So the heat profile in this recipe is really mild…

Hi saw you on tv the other day, your dynamite personality would not let me change the channel. Happy to know that I have a mexican friend in the kitchen, que rica la comida mexicana!

Of course, you have a Mexican friend in me! (thanks for writing)

Hola, Pati!

I watched your show for the first time recently and this episode was playing. I knew I just had to try the tortilla soup recipe. I did so tonight for some friends and my family and I have to tell you, I was so impressed by it! I was astounded by it’s simplicity but also how flavorful it was.

Tonight we discussed other options for replacements to tortillas – in case I don’t feel like frying the tortillas. We thought maybe white rice would be good. Do you use this soup over anything else? Granted the tortillas really MAKE this soup come together, but how do you switch it up?

Your show is so much fun to watch and your energy and enthusiasm reminds me of my cousins in Spain!

Thanks Laura! Of course you can switch it around. First of all, you can bake, and not fry the tortillas. Also, you can add rice as you suggest, either white or brown. Another option, that would make it more hearty, is to add cooked shredded chicken. So many ways to go! You can even skip the tortilla, and add more of the other garnishes… And call it: formerly known as Tortilla Soup.

Hi Pati I made this soup for my family and it was a big hit! I have a question. If you want to make this spicer can I add more guajillos? My hubby said it could have been hotter.

Fell in love with you when you were on Paula Deen’s show putting your blenders to “bed” – lol
You seem so genuine & so real. You are so much fun to watch. I smile thru every episode I watch :)
I loved the comments from your son’s journal about the love you share with your food, (don’t remember it exactly 😉 ), but so sweet :)
I plan to use your Tortilla Soup Recipe, (+ chicken), to challenge my brother’s Tortilla Soup Recipe.
I think I will poach the chicken. Any suggestions of what to add to the poaching liquid to bump up the flavor of the chicken?
Thank for sharing your table & so much more with us.
Love & Hugs to you & yours
BE Well my BEautiful friend………..

Thank you for your message, Grams! You’ll have to let me know how the tortilla soup fares against your brother. Maybe poach the chicken in chicken stock or broth to punch up the flavor…

Hi Pati;
Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful culture and recipes. It has made me to learn and how to cook my own culture food from my Mom and Friends who are all great cooks. They are great teachers. I live around the Boston area and I am having a hard time finding the Chilies that you use. I am Persian and was wondering if there was any connection between our two culutes? If there is what’s the connection and how? Thank you again for everything.

Thank you Shiva! You can also search for the chiles, if they are dried, online. Of course there are connections between our cultures, many of the ingredients that Mexican cuisine, came from the Spanish (through the conquest and the colonial era) and they brought the influences they had gotten from the almost 800 years of arab rule, including plenty of ingredients and cooking techniques from Persia. Connections: everywhere!

Hi Pati,

What needs to be adjusted in the recipe if we are using dried peppers? Thanks! So excited to try this!

Hi Sarah, Nothing needs to be adjusted; I use dried chiles, too! Hope you do try it!!

I am trying to understand how to use piloncillo. I understand that it is natural sugar with all the vitamins and minerals that come with it naturally, and it is made into granuals. And can be used in place of white sugar cup for cup in a receipe. If your receipe calls for white sugar and brown sugar, how would I use piloncillo in that receipe? Can you help me understand how to best use piloncillo?


Hola Laurie, You may substitute piloncillo for sugar, any kind, pretty much depends on what flavor and consistency you want. Here’s more info:

Hi Pati!

I really enjoy watching your show on my PBS Station on Saturday afternoons. I love how you take us on a tour of Mexico and tell in detail about all these spices and chili’s and about the Mexican Cuisine.

Your Lime Pound Cake looked awesome! I am going to have to try that recipe.

Take Care,


Thank you so much for watching, Janine! Let me know what you think when you try the lime pound cake.

Thank you for your show. Here in New England most people think that TexMex is all there is to Mexican food. My mother was Pennsylvania-German and not fond of cooking, so I grew up with a very limited number of items of Mexican food that she learned from my grandmother when living in Mexico City for a short time. You have been my go-to for good recipes to make. Unfortunately, I am my best taste-tester as my waistline tells me, but such is the price of pleasure. Thanks for your show and for your evident pleasure in sharing the cuisines of Mexico.

Hola David, I’m so happy you are enjoying my recipes! Thank you for taking a moment to write.

My family and I have been fans for a year now. Thank you for your love of food and cooking, you have made me a great cook and for that my family thanks you! One question though, every time I blend tomato, garlic and onion then cook it in oil all of eyes burn. Any ideas why that happens? Please help.

This tortilla soup recipe is a huge hit I our house! I substitute cilantro for the parsley and it works great! Patti watching you cook is entertaining because you can definatly see your passion for cooking! You are an inspiration!

Thank you, Georgeanne! Glad everyone is enjoying the tortilla soup!!

Pati, I am your biggest fan. I have a question. Tonight I made the tortilla soup and added chicken. But I must have done something wrong because it just tasted watered down. I looked back through the recipe and I am wondering if maybe the tomatoes were not supposed to be cut up before cooking? What else could cause this? I followed everything closely. I’ll also rewatch the show. I record all of them. Thanks, Teija

I’m really looking forward to making the Tortilla soup. I would like to make some to serve for dinner, and some to freeze for a rainy day. Would you recommend I freeze some of the puree before cooking or complete the recipe and then freeze? Thanks so much for sharing your recipes. They look so tasty!

Best regards,

Hello Crystal! I would ho ahead and complete the recipe and refrigerate or freeze after it is ready (and you let it cool). The only thing you do after you reheat is garnish!

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