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Bowl of Spicy Tortilla Soup.

Spicy Tortilla Soup, a dish with Mexican roots, is a Southern New Mexico favorite.

Used to be one of the best bowls of Spicy Tortilla Soup in the region could be had at the late great but not to be forgotten Slightly Toasted Cafe in Las Cruces.

Can’t take you there since the cafe has closed BUT . . .  take another look at the featured image above and imagine . . .

The taste and aroma of sautéed onion, garlic, and roasted tomatoes blended into chicken broth base.

Good, right?

Now it gets even better.

Where the Spicy” Part Comes In

Imagine the sweet, not-too-hot, bite you get from bits of dried chile added to that chicken broth base left to simmer for a while with a mix of herbs. 

(Choice of chile is up to you: You can use pasilla chile ~ a dried chile with black wrinkled skin and medium heat and bright flavor for a more traditional version. But hey, this is New Mexico. Hatch chile will do just fine.) 

Add a generous amount of shredded roast chicken toward the end of the simmer. Then get your BIG bowl out!

Spicy Tortilla Soup: Corn and Kick in a Bowl Click To Tweet

What Goes on Top of Spicy Tortilla Soup?  (Hint: It’s a Party Up There.)

Avocado, sour cream, a melting cheese such as asadero or Monty Jack and fried strips of corn tortillas go on top ~ hence the name, Spicy TORTILLA Soup

With fresh lime wedges on the side ready to squeeze, you’re good to go!


        1. Looked high and low but can’t find Spicy Tortilla Soup nearby? Make your own with this Rick Bayless recipe. (Chef Bayless places the tortilla strips, cheese, and avocado at the bottom of the bowl instead of on top, but it’s all good.)
        2. Learn more about pasilla chile HERE.
        3. Learn more about Southern New Mexico’s chile culture HERE.