Tortilla Soup with Beer

The hops in beer are a delicious addition to this version of tortilla soup from Molly Yeh.

Tortilla Soup With Beer
Photo: © Molly Yeh
Total Time:
50 mins
4 to 6


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 bell peppers, finely chopped

  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper

  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • One 12-ounce bottle Mexican beer

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears)

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Six 4-inch corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips

  • 2 lime wedges, plus 4-6 more for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, over moderately high heat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the jalapeño and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, oregano, red pepper, paprika, cayenne, red pepper, teaspoon of salt and a few turns of black pepper; cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Stir in the tomatoes, the chicken broth and the beer; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the chicken. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to pull the meat apart. Return the chicken to the soup and stir in the corn.

  3. While the soup is simmering, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet over moderate heat until shimmering. Fry the tortilla strips in batches for 3 minutes, until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel and immediately sprinkle with salt and squeeze with lime.

  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with tortilla strips, lime wedges, diced avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro and shredded Monterey jack or crumbled queso fresco.

Make Ahead

The soup and tortilla strips can be made the day before. Garnish directly before serving.

Serve With

Diced avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro, shredded Monterey jack or crumbled queso fresco.

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