Hi! Let’s make tortilla soup in the Instant Pot.
Also known as: let’s make an excuse to eat a complete buffet of Mexican toppings. You game?
This version of tortilla soup is two things:
- Easy. Like, pop it in the Instant Pot easy (although you can also make it without an Instant Pot if you have a few minutes to stand, stir, and simmer).
- DELICIOUS. There’s a classic smoky, limey, tomato-rich broth with onion, garlic, jalapeno, and tender chunks of sweet potato just to keep things interesting. Plus the essential crispy tortilla strips, and a few good hunks of buttery avocado to top it off.
And just like that, wham. You’re in BEST SOUP EVER territory.
Which is saying a lot, because I adore soup, and we have a lot of BEST SOUPS EVER here on the blog. Like golden soup, and wild rice soup, and most recently, that lemon chicken soup with the pasta. What can I say? Add it to the list of greats.
Okay, I need to have a pep talk with you real quick.
I know you are tempted to just add tortilla chips to this tortilla soup and call it a day, but please. I beg of you.
FACE YOUR FEARS OF FRYING.
It is SO WORTH IT to make your own fried tortilla strips. Better shape – they make those perfect little tangled piles on top of your soup – and better taste, and better texture.
It’s not hard at all. Heavy pan, some hot oil, done.
Drain, salt, attempt self control.
Worth mentioning that in addition to being easy and so delicious, this is also clear-your-head-cold tortilla soup. When I was sick last week and feeling like I might never feel joy in my life ever again, I was legitimately lifted with every limey, spicy slurp.
No judgement for drinking straight out of the bowl on this one. Go ahead. Promise. I support you.
- half an onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 chipotle peppers, minced, or a dash of chipotle powder
- 1-2 cups sweet corn (optional)
Tortilla strips and toppings
- 12 corn tortillas
- oil for frying
- cotija or queso fresco
- cilantro, red onion, lime wedges, etc.
- Tortilla Soup: Place all soup ingredients in the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Tortilla Strips: Cut the tortillas into small strips. Heat the oil in a heavy pan over medium high heat. Working in batches, add tortilla strips and fry in the hot oil for a few minutes until golden and crispy. Remove with tongs, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt.
- Serve: Stir about half of your tortilla strips into the soup and reserve the remaining half for topping. Top individual bowls with… well… everything! I highly recommend avocado, and definitely don’t forget the lime.
Stovetop: Saute your onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a little oil. Add sweet potatoes and spices. Add tomatoes, broth, and corn. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Oil: Some of the oil from the fried tortilla strips will end up in the soup – you’ll see a very slight sheen on the top layer. That’s okay – it’s how it’s supposed to be. It gives the soup a little more of a luxurious texture and mouthfeel (I don’t think I’ve ever used the word mouthfeel before, but here we are). I prefer to fry my tortilla strips in olive oil so that olive oil is what ends up in my soup. But if you want something that has a neutral flavor, use vegetable oil.