There are many stories out there about the history of tortilla soup, but the majority of information leads me to believe it originates from Mexico City, or central Mexico.
Although I was born in California, I actually had my first tortilla soup in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I fell in love with its hearty flavor, and became an instant fan.
Now I live in Mexico, and of course it is everywhere. Though I have not found a vegetarian version yet, so I have to make it at home.
But it’s very simple! All one has to do is use vegetable broth instead of chicken.
Recipes vary, and I have tried to use a relatively common one here, but with a little more chili added while cooking, to make it a little spicier.
At the local Mexican food fair in my neighborhood, I purchased some homemade garlic and chili de árbol salsa in oil, and the combination of the two is amazing – I use it in everything.
In case you can’t find it pre-made, I have included a recipe to make a similar version of this below, given to me by a friend from my hometown of Ojai, California. Ruben’s family owned some wonderful Mexican restaurants where I enjoyed eating for years, and made good friends.
It was actually my friend’s idea, when I told him I was making this soup, to add this chili. And then I realized I had just purchased the salsa!
Thank you Ruben for your help, and thank you and your family for all the years of delicious Mexican food, friendship, and kindness.
For me, I like to add all the garnishes. And I usually eat the soup on its own, or sometimes with a Caesar salad – which is also Mexican! (This might surprise you, I know!)
I love my food hot and spicy, so I add the fresh chilies on top, as well as everything else. But if you are not sure what your guests like, just put the garnishes out separately on the table, and let them add what they want.
Or, at least just put the chilies on the table, and let guests add them as they wish (or not at all – I think they’re missing out, but I know everybody doesn’t like their food spicy).
The recipe serves 2 to 4, depending on if want to use it as a side or main dish. But this soup is very hearty, and it can be eaten as a main dish very easily.
About Lori Jo Hendrix
Lori was born in southern California and currently resides in Mexico. She is an actress and model who also writes in the fields of nutrition, wellness, and cuisine. Her passions include working as a volunteer with various groups in the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned and injured animals.