Traditional Mexican Sopa

Learn to make this Traditional Mexican Sopa (soup) at home with my delicious, easy & simple method. Make it with any pasta shape you like: fideo, coditos, conchitas, letritas, etc.

Two bowls of sopa on a rack with two tortillas on the side

Sometimes the best dishes you have in your life are the simple ones that you’ve eaten since you were a child. The ones you think nobody would care to learn about since they’re not complicated. This is one of those for me. (More personal notes at the bottom of this post)

This Mexican Sopa is actually a VERY common recipe in Mexico but everybody makes it a little different. They add their own zest if you know what I mean. You may think I’m biased but I have not tasted another “sopa” as good as this one. I swear!

One bowl of soup showing another one in the background. Accompanied with flour tortilla and a glass of water.

The essentials

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this authentic Mexican soup:

  • Any pasta shape you like: fideo, elbow, conchitas, letritas, etc. They come in packages like this one. You can find it in the latin section of your grocery store.
  • Chicken stock: If you have homemade chicken stock the better! If not, use the boxed one (instead of canned) as it tastes better.
  • Chopped onions, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 cube beef bullion, fresh cilantro, olive oil, salt & pepper
Ingredients for Traditional Mexican Sopa: Pasta, chicken broth, onions, tomato sauce, beef bullion, cilantro, olive oil, salt & pepper

How to make Mexican Sopa

  1. We’ll start by heating up the oil over medium heat. Saute the pasta until slightly browned. Keep stirring constantly to brown all sides. About 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes until soft.
  3. Then we’ll add the broth, tomato sauce, beef bullion, cilantro, pepper & salt. Note I like adding the cilantro at this point since it infuses the soup with its fresh flavor while the soup cooks.
  4. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low; simmer until the noodles are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Process photos on how to make a sopa. 1) A pot with browning the pasta 2) same pot and onions added. 3) Same pot with tomato sauce, chicken broth and cilantro added to cook.

Serve this Mexican sopa as a side dish and accompany with warm tortillas.

A bowl of soup showing another one in the background. Accompanied a glass of water.
A bowl of soup showing another one in the background. Accompanied with flour tortilla and a glass of water.

Traditional Mexican Sopa (Sopita Recipe)

Servings 8 cups
Ana Frias
5 from 37 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Warming and delicious, this Mexican Sopa (soup) recipe is loaded with comforting goodness and basic ingredients. It’s so flavorful and so easy to make!
8 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 7 ounces package of mexican pasta. Shells, alphabet, or fideo (or vermicelli noodles, broken into 2" pieces)
  • ¼ cup white or yellow onion finely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cube beef or chicken bullion
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a 4-qt. saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the pasta until slightly browned. Keep stirring constantly to brown all sides. About 5 minutes.
  • Add the onions and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes until soft.
  • Add the broth, tomato sauce, beef bullion, cilantro, pepper & salt.
  • Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low; simmer until the noodles are tender, about 15 minutes.

*Ana's Notes:

For different variations you can add finely chopped vegetables such as carrots and zucchini when cooking the pasta. Add a little more broth to compensate the absorption from the veggies. 
You may also add shredded chicken for another variation.  

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you'll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 2cups | Sodium: 1897mg | Sugar: 8g | Fiber: 1g | Calories: 241kcal | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 5g | Protein: 7g | Carbohydrates: 47g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

This recipe was originally published in May 29th 2013 and was updated in April 2019 to include newer photos and more instructions. Thank you! 

Want a more hearty Mexican Soup? Try my Albondigas Soup! Made with lean meatballs and it’s loaded with veggies.

One bowl of soup showing another one in the background. Accompanied with flour tortilla and a glass of water.

How I learned to cook this soup

This recipe holds a special place in my heart since I learned how to make this from my mom. My mom used to make this for us all the time and she probably had to triple this recipe to feed all 9 of her kids! Yikes!

I remember calling my mom all the time to give me her recipes and as all recipes from our mother’s go, the instructions were, a little bit of this, some of this, a pinch of this, blah, blah, blah. There were no written recipes! I was left on my own to nail the exact flavor my mom used to achieve. Luckily I inherited my mom’s good cooking skills, or so I think, and learned to cook her way pretty quickly 😀

And so I started making this soup as soon as my first born was old enough to eat it. He was about 9 months old! I used to make everything from scratch (including the chicken broth) so to me this was a totally acceptable meal to feed him. He loved it! And ever since, our tradition of eating this soup year round remains in the family.

Now that my sons are living on their own (and one likes to cook… yay!), I want to pass down this recipe to them and hopefully one day, they will teach their kids how to make it. I want to make this a family heirloom recipe in my mom’s memory :).

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Recipe Rating




76 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just got done making this soup and I think it is fantastic! I will put it in my regular rotation of food. I added 1/4 C dehydrated carrots to it, but the dominant flavors were the tomato and cilantro – which I loved! I didn’t really even notice the carrots.

    The only downside of this recipe is if you’re on a low sodium diet; it is extremely high in sodium. But you could make a lower sodium version of it, if you needed to.☺️

    1. Hi Lee, Cilantro has such a unique flavor and for this soup I don’t think there is another herb that could act as a substitute. You can try adding 1/2 teaspoon of dried coriander if you have it otherwise just skip it! Add a dash of lime juice to your bowl of soup if you have any 🙂

      The soup will still be very good without the cilantro (but it’s better with it). But I’m sure you’ll still enjoy it! Let me know how it turned out 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I was so proud to serve this sopa to my Mexican husband and toddler yesterday because I knew it was delicious. It came out SO much easier than all the times I’ve tried to “wing it.” And I love that the recipe proportions are easy to remember so I can make this again without any effort.

    The reviews from my husband: “Te quedó perro!” (Bitchin?)

  3. This sopa recipe was DELECIOUS! I am Hispanic so I have tasted and made many different sopas, like you said, everyone does it their own way, with their own flair. This one sounded a little different, but was super easy, and I gotta say, it blew all the other sopas away! My sons loved it! This will be the sopa I will be making from now on! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    THE BEST recipe for soup oh my goodness. i just saw this earlier and bought everything to make it for dinner and everyone loved it. 10/10 recommend.

      1. Hi Kate! So sorry for the late reply! Did you make it and were you able to warm up the tortillas? You can place them on a hot skillet (no oil needed) and flip after a few seconds or a minute depending how hot the skillet is. You can also warm them up in the microwave but put them inside a kitchen towel, paper towels or a ziploc bag. warm the tortillas up for 20 seconds or so. enjoy!

  5. 5 stars
    In our family, this is “survival” food! The best. Both my abuelitas made this, with conchas, “macaronis,” or alphabets, mom, me and my daughters make this A LOT. Thank you for posting such a wonderful dish.

    1. Hi Vida! Thank you so much for such a wonderful comment! It’s so great to hear about how the different generations in your family have made this dish! Thank you so much for such a wonderful comment!

  6. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! This was a classic growing up. I am from Chihuahua MX so sopa de fideo or conchas was a must during winter.

    I was out of tomato sauce/ fresh tomatoes so I used tomato paste and some knorr de tomate. Came out delicious!

    Saludos! xx

    1. Hola Abril! I bet it tasted delicious with tomato paste too! It’s basically the same so good call! Thanks so much for making this Sopa! Te mando muchos saludos igual desde Arizona 🙂

      Ana

  7. 5 stars
    I made this for my abuela since shes been sick and she absoulty loved it she said it makes her feel better every bite

    1. Awe this is so kind of you to make this for your abuela! So good to hear it made her feel better and that you liked this Mexican sopa! I hope she’s all better 🙂

      Stay well Johanna!
      Ana

  8. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner ~it was so good! Thank you very much for sharing! Also, the warm tortillas were a huge hit!?

  9. 5 stars
    AMAZING!!!! I’ve been eating fideo my whole life. Using fresh tomato’s and chicken stock made a huge difference! LOVED IT!!!

  10. 5 stars
    First time making it, I made a slight switch, I broiled the tomatoes and made the sauce that way with chicken bullion and onion in the blender….it came out good…next time I’m going to do everything your way lol thanks for the recipe

    1. Awe thanks so much for the feedback AG! You version sounds so delicious! I may try roasting the tomatoes first next time and see what I get….although I’m in love with my original version as that’s how my mom made it. But loved trying to methods.

      I hope you have a wonderful day!

      XO,
      Ana

    1. 5 stars
      For our summer girl scout scavenger list one was learn a new recipe from other country. Thanks! This was good!

    1. 5 stars
      My mother used to make this for my sisters and I growing up. It’s the simplest of ingredients but for some reason so hard to get just right. I used your recipe and added cumin, juice of 2 lemons, 8 more oz of tomato sauce, minced garlic, ground turkey, and diced potatoes to make this into a meal that can feed anyone. I also had to add 2-3 more cups of broth for all of the additions I made as well. I thank you for sharing your recipe as it is amazing on its own as well!!! I now make this for my own kids and wife and they can’t get enough of it. Leftovers are very much welcome when I make this!

      1. Oh my goodness! your version sounds delicious Felipe! This soup was the perfect base for all of those additions. I may have to try it. Thanks for the feedback and for making this sopa! Stay well my friend!

      1. I brown some canned corn when I’m sauteing the onions and noodles.. I also add a can of fire roasted canned tomatoes with jalapenos. An most importantly you can’t forget to add the cheese.. I prefer a good pepper jack..

  11. Everyone thinks their recipe is the most authentic and traditional. Recipes change and evolve in every family. Not everyone makes everything exactly the same. Your comment is ridiculous.

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks for defending the recipe Jami! I removed the comment from that person saying I should add cumin to it. They didn’t even make this recipe!

      I appreciate you stopping by so much!

  12. 5 stars
    Hi Ana, first let me say that is is the very first time I have ever commented on anything. This touched my heart because of the fact this is the exact why i make sopa. Yes, I would make it for my kids when they were little. This is one of the things my Mom taught me how to make. My twin boys, who are now 49yrs. liked it the most. My two daughters. ech… My son from LA now makes it for his two daughters and they do like it. I make the shell and the fideo one quite often. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. God bless you.

    1. 5 stars
      You have no idea how much this comments means to me Mary! You are so sweet and it makes me so happy that you like this sopa! Still my son’s favorite! Thank you sooo much!

  13. What brand of shells do you use to make this? I’m planning on making this tommorows and want to make sure I get the right kind of shells

  14. Thank you! My fiancé was sick and asked me to make this. I had never had it so I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to taste like. He said it was perfect! So thank you!!

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks Jamey so much for the kind comment and I’m very happy you and your fiancé liked it! I hope he’s doing well!

  15. Can you put pieces of meat as well when you’re browning the noodles? I would like to make this but with pieces of meat.. please help me.

  16. I love my mother’s fideo and am still waiting for her to write the recipe down for me.
    I believe your recipe is similar to hers, but I think she adds garlic to it and uses Roma tomatoes.
    I’m glad to see you use the Knorr chicken broth, instead of the canned kind which I see in a lot of recipes for this.

    I’ve looked at several recipes and yours is the first that’s traditional enough for it to be pinned.

  17. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious. My father in law use to make it for my daughter when she was little. Thank you for sharing.

  18. I couldn’t contact my mom to ask her how she makes her soup so I started making it on my own and then I found this recipe and realized I had got it right! So simple yet so delicious. Thank you for confirming my doubts.

    1. 5 stars
      hi Lorens! I’m so happy to hear this! Now you get to make your own soup whenever you want. Thanks so much for stopping by ?

  19. 5 stars
    This is delicious! My boyfriend’s grandmother used to make it for him when he was little. I found this recipe over a year ago and make it quite often! I add shredded chicken usually. Tonight I’m throwing some meatballs in it! Can’t wait. Thank you

  20. What would be a good substitute for the beef bullion if we have non-beef eaters in the house (I know the idea of not eating beef is hard to fathom for me too)?

  21. Oh my goodness, a friend of mine made us this soup one day and we ate it with flour tortillas rolled up with queso fresco in them. That’s one of my very favorite things to eat now and I am known in my friends and family as a foodie. So happy I found the recipe here!

  22. Oh, I love sopa! I grew up eating this. When I moved out I forgot how to make this. Now I’m excited I found this recipe. This will bring back childhood memories! Thanks!

    1. Hi Tiffany! I’m soooo glad you found this recipe! I think it’s definitely a Mexican comfort food that everyone loves. I hope you get to make it! xo

    2. 5 stars
      This soup is delicious! Exactly how my mom used to make it. My favorite was sopa de letritas. Gracias!

  23. I make this for my 5 kids at least once a week. They love it! I add a bit of fresh beans on the side. Reminds me of my Grandmas kitchen 🙂

  24. We grew up on this soup brings back tons of memories. I made it for dinner tonight but added cooked ground beef to it yummy.
    Thanks for sharing
    Michelle

    1. 5 stars
      Hi Michelle! I’m so glad you got to make it! It is a wonderful dish to grow up with! Great idea on the beef! I also add shredded chicken and/or carrots sometimes. Sooo good! I hope your day is going well ?

  25. I am so happy I found this, me and my best friend used to make this every weekend and I had forgotten how. Although her mother used to call it sopita but it is identical to what I remember. 🙂