Sopa Azteca



When I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago, Petar and I took full advantage to try the food scene in the city. Craving south-of-the-border flavors, we had dinner at Mamacita and noshed on your standard dishes- guacamole, chilaquiles and tortilla soup. Our whole meal was delicious, one of the best chilaquiles I’ve ever had and that soup was so. good!

That soup left quite an impression on me that I knew I wanted to recreate it at home. If you haven’t noticed, soups are my thing. Especially during the winter months- even though I won’t turn down a gazpacho come warmer weather. Soups are a great way to get a nutrient-packed meal in one dish and they are usually simple to make. Not to mention, they warm you up and are always filling!


After doing a little research, I was able to find this recipe from Rick Bayless and adapted it to preference. The soup we had in San Francisco didn’t have any meat and this recipe calls for chicken, but it’s entirely up to you. I decided to opt in for some extra protein, and happened to have leftover chicken tenders.


I let the soup simmer a bit longer than the recipe called for to make sure the flavors blended and that I got it to the right consistency. It had the smoky flavors from the pasilla chile and a burst of freshness with the fresh squeezed lime. Not only did I top it with fresh avocado, but also added an entire avocado, chopped, to the soup a few minutes before it was done cooking. I also added a dollop of Fage Greek yogurt instead of crema and grated queso fresco {not pictured}.

The combination of flavors was exactly what the weather called for. Instead of tortilla chips, I served this with a wedge of fresh cornbread that added the most unexpected, subtle sweet note in every bite! This is quickly becoming one of my favorite soups!




  • 1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1, 15 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • Cilantro for garnishing
  • Chicken, optional
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • Queso Fresco for garnishing
  • Fage Greek yogurt for garnish
  • 1 lime, for serving


Toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds. Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add the diced onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and cilantro, if using. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. If using, add chicken to the simmering broth along with cubed avocado. Taste and season with salt.

Garnish with yogurt, cubed avocado and queso fresco. Squeeze the lime and enjoy!