El Torito's Famous Sopa de Tortilla

Sopa de tortilla
Lauri Patterson / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 8 to 10 bowls
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
415 Calories
30g Fat
23g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 415
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 814mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 35mg 173%
Calcium 179mg 14%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 875mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This hearty chicken soup with a Mexican twist is loaded with chicken, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini. It is a crowd-pleaser at restaurants that are part of the popular El Torito chain throughout California.

To save time, you can use a cooked rotisserie chicken, usually in the deli or meals-to-go department at the grocery store, or your own leftover chicken. 


  • 7 cups chicken broth

  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced

  • 1/2 bell pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

  • 1 dash salt, or to taste

  • 1 dash ground white pepper, or to taste

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced

  • 1 zucchini, diced

  • 3 corn tortillas

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • 2 avocados, sliced

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Steps to Make It

Make the Soup

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, carrots, celery, onion, potato, bell pepper, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and oregano.

  3. Season to taste with salt and white pepper, and bring to boil. Simmer 25 minutes.

  4. Add the shredded chicken breast pieces, tomatoes, and zucchini. 

  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Create the Presentation

  1. Cut the tortillas into matchstick-size strips.

  2. Sauté in hot oil until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

  3. To serve, place tortilla strips in individual bowls.

  4. Cover with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and ladle in the soup. Top with a slice of avocado and a cilantro sprig.

Serving Suggestions

If you're serving El Torito's tortilla soup as a main course, serve warmed corn or flour tortillas as a side, along with slices of Monterey Jack cheese for nibbling. If you feel ambitious, serve chicken flautas on the side.

If you're serving tortilla soup as a first course, follow with cheese enchiladas with red sauce, chicken enchiladas with green sauce, loaded chicken tacos, refried bean tostadas, chicken fajitas or chiles rellenos.

You can't have Mexican food without the right cocktail. Serve margaritas, salt or not, and if you feel like upping the volume, make it with gold tequila and top it off with a bit of Grand Mariner. Now there's a real Mexican cocktail. If it's hot, think frozen daiquiris. Or serve ice cold bottles of Corona or Dos Equis if beer's more your thing.

For a grand finale, make authentic Mexican sopapillas with cinnamon and honey—a la mode makes them extra good.