Mexico is known for its delicious food and its soups are no exception. From traditional pueblo-style stews to modern takes on classics like tortilla soup, in Mexico you will find the best of the best. Whether in restaurants or homes, locals, as well as tourists, love these soups, and you will too after trying these delicious recipes.
Menudo is a Mexican soup with basic ingredients such as beef or goat offal, garlic, chili, corn, onion, and tripe, although you will find regional variations.
In fact, among the variations, two stand out, Menudo Blanco and Menudo Rojo, named after the color of the broth. The cooking time of this type of soup is long, approximately 8 to 10 hours, which is why it is usually prepared on special occasions.
Mondongo, as it is also known, has an uncertain origin. Some experts agree that it comes from Spain, like callos a la madrileña. True or not, this dish was adapted to Mexican customs and, of course, chili is one of the indispensable elements as well as different herbs.
If you go to Guanajuato, you will find that cow entrails are fried with onion and then cooked in orange juice and red wine to make this dish. In Oaxaca, vegetables are added, while in Nuevo León they add marrow.
Pozole is one of the most versatile soups because it allows a lot of room for creativity. There are three main versions: white, green and red pozole.
In the north of Mexico, Pozole is typically prepared with chile pasilla broth, beef and pancita or paw. In the state of Guerrero, it is made with pork and a mixture of green pepita mole.
While in Jalisco, broth is used with guajillo chile and the beef head is stewed. This corresponds to the three traditional colors of pozole, previously mentioned.
All the basic elements of Mexican cuisine are used for the preparation of pozole, from lime and avocado to cabbage. The cooking time is approximately six hours, consequently. They are therefore cooked in large quantities to make it worth the long wait.
Pozole is a thin broth that is traditionally served on Christmas Eve.
Tinga de pollo
Tinga de pollo is a broth characterized by its smoky flavor. As its name indicates, chicken is one of its main ingredients, along with chipotle chiles.
For its preparation, it is advisable to use a slow cooker, although a stove also works well. For an excellent result, the peppers and tomatoes should be charred, as they are the base of the broth’s unique smoky flavor.
Garlic and onion are added later to enliven the flavors. Regarding time, the Tinga de pollo takes almost the whole day to be ready. This is a key element for the success of the preparation. Once ready, tinga makes an excellent filling for tacos and tortillas as well.
Tinga de pollo has its roots in Puebla, a Mexican city from which dishes recognized around the world originate.
Sopa de tortilla de pollo (Chicken tortilla soup)
Chicken tortilla soup is one of the tastiest and easiest Mexican dishes to prepare. It is characterized by the crispy fried tortilla strips that cover it. This is an element that distinguishes it from conventional soups and catapults it among the best soups in Mexico.
Lime and cilantro are recurring ingredients in Mexican cuisine and this dish is no exception. Indeed, it is one of the flavors that you can immediately identify when taking sip after sip. Together with the crunch provided by the tortillas, it becomes a unique culinary experience.
Toppings such as sour cream or pico de gallo can be added as well. The intention is that you can add whatever suits your taste.
In some regions, you may notice that the base of the broth is a little lighter, in others a little darker. There is also a version with beans, but all of them, regardless of the variety, have chicken, fried tortilla and tomatoes.
Although this is a popular soup throughout the country, it is best known in Mexico City.
Caldo de Res (Mexican beef soup)
This soup is one of the most popular dishes in Mexico as it is cheap, quick, and simple to prepare. It is ideal for warming up during winter nights, although many people eat it regardless of the temperature.
This Mexican classic is mainly composed of beef and assorted vegetables. Depending on the size of the plate, this dish can be considered a main dish or a starter. In certain regions the meat is served separately from the soups, however, it is best when all the ingredients are united in the broth.
The presence of this soup predominates in popular marketplaces and restaurants in Mexico. It is usually accompanied by corn tortillas, red rice, and the preferred sauce.
The chambarete is the ideal type of meat used in the preparation of beef broth. It comes with a piece of bone that adds a lot of flavor to the soup. Elsewhere it is known as ossobuco, which in Italy it refers to an expensive cut of veal, different from chambarete.
Mole de Olla
Inhabitants of southern and central Mexico consume Mole de Olla regularly, especially during hot days. This is because it regulates body temperature, according to some diners.
For many Mexicans, this has become a way to combat the intensity of the summer heat, since many lack air conditioning systems. On the other hand, the combination of vegetables and meats, in addition to flavor, provides integral health benefits.
The origin of this dish, which has a light, fairly liquid consistency, dates back to pre-Columbian times. Like its predecessor on the list, mole is usually prepared with beef chambarete. However, some versions opt for the use of pork backbone, chicken or beef tail.
Originally, for preparing Mexican birria stew, beef was used as the main ingredient. Later lamb became the main element of this well-known dish.
Lamb soon became scarce, which created a shift towards beef again. Nowadays, either of the two ingredients can be used to prepare an authentic birria, the important thing is to cook it until it is tender.
This dish, from Guadalajara, has dried chiles that give a definitive touch to the soup, as well as lime juice and cilantro. Birria is regularly served at celebrations and parties. It is one of the fixed dishes at weddings.
In birrerías (the name given to restaurants that serve this dish) the soup is prepared with different types of meat, to the point of even mixing them in the same dish.
Sopa de lima (Mexican lime soup)
Sopa de lima is one of the lightest soups in Mexico. For that reason, it is not considered a main dish, but rather a starter. It is quite fresh and acidic thanks to the lime and also spicy due to the habanero chile.
This soup, originally from the Yucatan Peninsula, has as its main ingredient the Yucatecan lime, which differs from the common lime because of its sweet and sour flavor. This type of lime is found throughout the region, which is why it is very common in many of the recipes of its cuisine. It also contains chicken and tomato.
This soup, one of the most representative of Mexico, is also considered one of the most refined. Its origin is a mystery, although some experts claim that it was invented by a Mérida restaurateur named Katu in 1946. Others claim that it is an ancient Mayan recipe.
What is certain is that it is an abundant and tasty preparation that in Mexico is consumed at any time of the year, be it winter or summer.
Caldo de Pollo (Mexican chicken soup)
Caldo de Pollo is a soup loaded with spices, vegetables, and, of course, the meat that gives it that characteristic thickness.
The ingredients are similar to chicken broth: onions, carrots, potatoes, and chicken. The difference lies in the size of the chopped ingredients and their preparation. Generally, its cooking time does not exceed one hour, but it depends on the size of the vegetables and chicken.
In many regions cilantro is used as part of the ingredients of the chicken broth, but in southern states such as Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Tabasco they prefer culantro, also known as parsley ranchero. The flavor of this herb is a little stronger than the common cilantro.
The soup is served in bowls with a portion of chicken in each bowl, warm corn tortillas and lime wedges. If you wish, you can add some avocado slices too.
One of the most famous dishes of Michoacán cuisine is Sopa Tarasca. It is a creamy preparation similar to the Aztec soup, except for the vegetable broth, tomatoes, dried chilies and pinto beans that give the Michoacán version that characteristic texture and flavor, so it does not need cream or milk.
The origin of Sopa Tarasca dates back to 1966 when the dish was invented for the inauguration of an inn owned by Don Felipe Oseguera Iturbide. He and his sister Luz created the dish and Pamela, his wife named it Tarascan soup, to honor the nearby indigenous people (Purépechas). They later settled on the name “sopa tarasca” as it is known today.
Sopa Tarasca is served in a deep bowl, with some tortilla strips, grated cheese, chopped chili, and sour cream. Avocado is an option too as is the case with most Mexican broths and soups. This broth is considered one of the most exotic of Michoacán, due to its ingredients, flavor, thickness and the crunchiness of the tortillas.
Mexico is one of the most varied and colorful gastronomic centers in the world. Its dishes, in this case soups and broths, are innumerable and delicious, with an almost perfect combination of ingredients that, in addition to flavor, gives them an aroma that is hard to resist.
To travel to Mexico and not try one of its soups is like not having been there at all. Each soup has its own variations depending on the region and traditions. Each one tells its own story, evidencing the strong link between food, culture, and the beautiful country of Mexico.