Mexican Tortilla Soup

Tortilla SoupSo since making this delicious and healthy Mexican Tortilla Soup, I’ve had a very real moment of pure horror and self-loathing when the night before a friend’s wedding I tried on my (only) suit jacket to find the the buttons would barely close. When I say “barely” I mean, when sitting, it was like my belly was trying to desperately escape, like a manatee caught in a fisherman’s net but less deserving of sympathy. I ended up borrowing a jacket from my Dad and it was, at best, fine, but I’m reexamining this recipe and thinking that, while it is healthy as it is, calories can still be cut out and the soup will still be delicious.

The given recipe below is for the more indulgent version in the video but now that certain truths have been made bluntly aware to me I can say: there’s hardly need for 4 tbsp of olive oil to fry those onions? Making it now, I’d cut it sown to 1 or dry roast everything before the tomatoes until they are lightly caramelised and then add the tomatoes. Also, forget deep frying the tortilla and ancho chillies. Cut them up small and dry roast them too. I know we might be losing some lusciousness that all that oil brings but, fuck it, fat beggars can’t be fat choosers and this fat bigger has 2 more weddings coming up this year!

I love avocados but, really, not enough for the calories they contain. They’re not bloody chocolate! Yes they are healthy and containing healthy fats but all fats need to be avoided now. Saying that, the feta I am strangely okay with. It is very low in fat for cheese and it is very salty so you only need a small amount of it and it will go a long way, not like the blandvocado whose flavour is squashed by the spicy soup. Leave the cheese out completely and use vegetable stock to make this tortilla soup vegan.

Mexican Tortilla Soup


  • 3 dried ancho chilli
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 whole corn tortilla plus 2 cut into strips
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil, plus enough for deep frying
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 good pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1.5L stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 small handful of coriander leaves
  • 100f feta, cubed
  • 1 avocado diced


  1. Add 1 ancho chilli to a bowl, just cover with boiling water and allow to rehydrate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and stir fry for 10 - 15 minutes until they just start to brown.
  3. Stir in the garlic and tear up the tortilla before adding that too.
  4. Remove the stem from your rehydrated ancho chilli, tear it up and add it to the pot. Stir fry for another 5 minutes.
  5. Then add the chipotle, tinned tomatoes, oregano, sugar and salt. Stir and allow to cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes before you add the stock.
  6. Bring everything to a simmer and allow to simmer for 10 minutes before you blitz it up with a hand blender or in a regular heat-proof blender with a steam vent.
  7. Once smooth, test to check the seasoning and adjust if needs be. Then clamp the lid on and place it over a low heat while you make the toppings.
  8. Heat enough oil for deep frying in a high sided frying pan and add the tortilla strips. Fry for a short while, just until they turn golden brown then remove them.
  9. Remove the stems from the remaining ancho chillies, cut them up and add them to the hot oil for 10 seconds to puff up then remove them.
  10. Serve the soup in the pot at the table with small bowls of the toppings, the fried tortilla and anchos, the coriander leaves, feta and avocado leaves just give the avocado a spritz of lemon juice to stop it from going brown.
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