Tantalize your taste buds with this delicious Mexican Soup made with fresh vegetables and spices to create a flavorful one-pot meal.
Serve this soup topped with grated cheese, sour cream, and guacamole for a weeknight supper that’s sure to please.
Mexican Soup is the perfect meal for anyone looking to bring a little spice into their life. This flavorful soup is packed with fresh vegetables, savory spices, and hearty beans that will fill you up without weighing you down. It’s a great way to add variety to your meal plan while keeping it healthy and delicious. Plus, it can easily be customized depending on how spicy you like your food! So why not give this Mexican Soup a try? You won’t regret it!
Why This Recipe Works
- Fresh garlic and vegetables add an array of flavors and textures to the soup, creating depth and complexity.
- Tomato paste adds richness and body to the soup as it simmers on the stovetop.
- Fresh cilantro and lime juice add vibrant fresh notes that balance out the other flavors in this dish.
- Canned beans provide texture and protein and help thicken the soup.
- Mexican spices such as cumin, oregano, and paprika add subtle heat and complexity to the soup.
Onion: Yellow or white onions work well with this recipe, but you can use any type of onion you have on hand. Use red onion for a sweeter flavor.
Bell Pepper: I typically use red, yellow, or orange because of their milder flavor, but green works, too, so use what you like best.
Garlic, fresh garlic is always best. If you need a shortcut, add whole cloves to the onion and peppers, then discard them before serving. You can also use garlic powder in its place.
Stock: This recipe calls for chicken stock, but vegetable stock will work just as well for a vegetarian option.
Canned Beans: Any combination of beans will work in this recipe. I use pinto, black beans, and kidney beans, but black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, or cannellini beans would be delicious as well.
Tomatoes: Canned chopped, crushed, or diced tomatoes will work well in this recipe.
Piquante Peppers: I like them for their sweet heat, but you can use canned green chilis or jarred jalapenos if you like more spice.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro is great in Mexican dishes, but if you’re not a fan, you can use parsley in its place.
Lime Juice: Fresh lime juice is the best way to brighten up the flavor of this soup, but if you don’t have any on hand, lemon juice or vinegar will also add brightness.
Spices: Chili powder (an American spice mix commonly found in Mexican recipes) can be used instead of adding individual spices called for in this recipe. Just adjust the amount to your taste.
Rice: This recipe calls for parboiled or converted rice. In the US, looking for any brand will do. In the UK, buy Uncle Bens Long Grain Rice (not quick cook). You can use other types of rice, but check the package for cooking times and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
How to make Mexican Soup
- Fry onion, celery, and carrot and add garlic.
- Mix in tomato paste.
- Pour in the stock and stir.
- Add beans, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro.
- Stir in the other herbs and spices. Bring to the boil.
- Introduce the rice and cook until softened.
- Season and serve.
Step By Step Instructions
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and red pepper and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the celery & peppers start to soften.
Mix in the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and mix to combine. Then slowly add the chicken stock.
Mix to combine and add the beans, tomatoes, and piquanté peppers.
Stir in the cilantro, cumin, paprika, and oregano until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring so that the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add the rice, bring to a boil and lower the heat back to low. Let simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is tender and the vegetables are the desired softness.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve topped with the grated cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.
Tips and Variations
- To make this soup vegetarian, simply replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
- If you don’t like spicy soup, omit cyan pepper.
- For an extra spicy soup, add 2 to 4 chopped jalapenos or chopped red chili pepper.
- If you have dietary restrictions on sodium, be sure to drain and rinse beans, use unsalted tomato sauce/canned tomatoes, and keep an eye on how much salt you add to the soup.
- For a meaty version, brown Ground beef and remove it from the pan before adding the vegetables. Then add it back with the stock. You can also add chopped cooked chicken at the end.
- This soup tastes great with all sorts of vegetables, so feel free to experiment.
Storage & Freezing Instructions ❄
Make Ahead: Mexican Soup is a great make-ahead meal for busy days or weeknights. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days, allowing you to enjoy it again and again.
To Store Leftovers: let the soup cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container.
To Freeze: Simply pour the cooled soup into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat until warm.
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Let’s Make Mexican Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 stalk of celery chopped
- 2 red bell peppers chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 14 ounces canned black beans rinsed and drained
- 14 ounces canned kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 14 ounces canned pinto beans (or other white beans) rinsed and drained
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juices
- 8 piquanté peppers Mild or hot, chopped (or drained canned green chilis)
- fresh cilantro A good handful, chopped
- kosher salt to taste
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) plus more if you like it spicy
- ¾ cup long grain rice see recipe notes below
- cheddar cheese freshly grated for serving
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- sour cream for serving
- Guacamole for serving
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and red pepper and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the celery & peppers start to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and mix to combine.
- Slowly add the chicken stock mixing to combine.
- Add all the beans, tomatoes, piquanté peppers, cilantro, salt, cumin, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano and stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add the rice, bring to a boil and lower the heat back to low. Let simmer 15 to 20 minutes longer or until the rice is tender and the vegetables are the desired softness.
- Stir in the lime juice, taste for seasoning, and season with more salt as needed. Serve topped with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.
Tips + Notes
Erren’s Kitchen is written and produced for informational intentions only. We are not certified nutritionists, and the nutritional information found on this site has not been assessed or authorized by a nutritionist or the FDA. The nutritional information found in our recipes is offered as an estimate and should not be considered a guarantee or fact. The estimated data is provided as a courtesy and calculated through a third-party online nutritional calculator, spoonacular API. Although we do our best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered rough estimates. Many factors, such as brands or products purchased and the nutritional fluctuations that naturally occur in fresh produce, can alter the effectiveness of the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, various online calculators provide different results depending on their particular algorithms and nutrition fact sources. To obtain the most precise nutritional information in a provided recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the exact ingredients you are using when preparing the recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Update Notes: Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2020. It was republished with new photos, tips, and ingredient notes in 2023.