Tortilla soup is one of my favorite soups because I can make a big batch and customize the toppings to suit any palate. Add some cooked chicken, black beans, roasted corn, queso, avocado, tortilla chips – everything works.

I am a bit partial to spicy soups and this one checks all the boxes. You can vary the spices depending on your tolerance level. I like my soup spicy enough to taste the ingredients without killing all the flavors. Some of my chili head friends, like an overdose of heat and love adding extra chili flakes to this soup. (You know who you are…)

Mild Medium Spicy  
2 2 2 tablespoon oil
3 3 3 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 2 3 tablespoon white pepper seeds
2 2 2 teaspoon salt
1 1 1 green chili
3 5 8 cloves garlic
3 3 3 cups corn kernels
3 3 3 5 inch diameter corn tortillas
4 4 4 cups stock
1/4 1/2 3/4 cup chopped herbs (cilantro)
  • In a large pot add oil and once it is heated add the cumin seeds, black pepper and green chili.
  • Once the spices are toasted, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the salt, corn and tomatoes and cook for about 20 minutes or until corn has softened completely.
  • While the corn is cooking, brush the tortillas with some oil and toast in the oven or fry the tortillas. You can use about a cup of crushed tortilla chips instead as well.
  • Add the tortillas to the soup and let it cool completely.
  • Once cooled, blend the soup with the stock and put it back in the pot and bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Serve in bowls topped with fresh cilantro and avocado and sourdough bread or tortilla chips.


  • I do not have any alternatives for this recipe because any substitutions with corn will render it a different soup.
  • You can vary the herbs (for my cilantro hating friends) and change the cilantro to parsley or oregano.


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