Tarasca Soup: A Traditional Recipe from Michoacán

Hailing from Morelia in the Mexican state of Michoacán, the Tarasca soup has gained nationwide acclaim in just 50 years.

While it bears a resemblance to tortilla soup, its distinctive bean flavor sets it apart. To make it, you’ll need a large pot, homemade chicken broth, and corn tortillas.


  • 3 ancho chilies
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1.3 lbs of red tomatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4.2 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of cooked pinto beans
  • 1 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp of oregano
  • 1 sprig of epazote (optional)
  • 5 corn tortillas

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Wash and prepare the tomatoes and chilies. Remove seeds and veins from the chilies and slice them into strips.
  2. Dice the onion, garlic, and tomatoes.
  3. In a large pot, fry the chilies in hot oil for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Sauté the garlic and onion in the same pot.
  5. Add the tomato, bean, and chili purée to the pot.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth, pepper, oregano, bay leaves, and salt. If using, add the epazote.
  7. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
  8. While the soup cooks, fry tortilla strips in a pan until golden.
  9. Serve the hot soup, garnished with fried tortilla and chilies.


The Tarasca soup can be garnished with avocado, cheese, cream, diced onion, cilantro, or epazote. You can also sprinkle in whole pinto beans.

  • Opt for meaty tomatoes to prevent excessive juice loss.
  • If using dried chilies, rehydrate them in hot water.
  • Some prefer to add whole beans instead of blended ones.


  1. Can I use a different type of chili? Yes, but the flavor might change. Ancho chilies are ideal for this recipe.
  2. What other toppings can I add? Feel free to experiment with different cheeses, fresh herbs, or even other grains.
  3. Can I make it without beans? Yes, but it won’t be a traditional Tarasca soup.
  4. How long does it keep in the fridge? It’s best consumed within 2-3 days for optimal flavor.

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