Let’s make Sopa Tarasca! It’s a creamy, silky Mexican-inspired soup made with pinto beans, warm chili spices, and whole tomatoes. And you NEED a big pile of the jalapeño corn fritters on top. Drooling over this one!

Origins Of Sopa Tarasca

Sopa Tarasca (“Tarascan soup”) originated in the Michoacán state of Mexico and was given the name in honor of the indigenous peoples of that area, the Purépechas or Tarascos. It is made with tomatoes, garlic, onion, and our favorite little friend, pinto beans! It is also made with fresh or dried chiles native to that region, which help give it its warm smoky flavor.

We were first introduced to the soup by this video on YouTube from Pati Jinich. We made her beautiful recipe immediately and it was so very, very yummy! Pati used whole dried ancho chiles, which are often trickier to find at our local grocery store (although if you can find them, they are absolutely delicious to use!).

We made some ever-so-slight swaps based on availability and preference, like using ancho chili powder instead, cooking the onion rather than adding it raw, and tossing in some extra cumin, to come up with this cozy-as-all-get-out nod to a more traditional sopa tarasca.

Why It’s So Good

This soup has heat but not exactly spiciness (though there is ancho chili powder). It’s like, actual warmth but not just from soup temperature either, you know? It’s just warm. The sun peeking through the clouds, or sitting just the right distance from the fire pit, or a soft thick sweatshirt and a perfectly weighted blanket. That kind of warm. You’ll feel it and it’s so great.

The creamy thickness that the soup gets from the pureed pinto beans makes you feel like you really made something special for yourself, and listen, you did.

This is also a topping lovers da-ream.

A swoopy swirl of Mexican crema on top (sour cream would also be delightful)

A confetti of fresh cilantro

Sprinkle on some cotija cheese at the end and then sprinkle some more. Still holding the bag? Great, one more sprinkle it is.
What else are you thinking? Avocado chunks? Green onion? Chips? YES, YOU GET IT. You toppings champ, you.

Our hearts were specifically called to make and include some little crispy salty-sweet jalapeño corn fritters. Sure, it’s a lil’ extra step, and yes there is some frying involved, but we think we may have been put on this earth to eat these fritters and we take this job very seriously.

The other VERY FUN THING about this soup is that it is incredibly versatile. Not only as a toppings trough but you can get creative with the leftovers (speaking of which, the soup is *even better* the next day). Did we use it as a sorta simmer sauce for chicken tacos? Yes, we did. Would it make a fantastic enchilada sauce? We really think so, please report back!

How To Make Sopa Tarasca (Pinto Bean Soup)

This bowl of lovely is a pretty simple sauté/simmer/puree sitch, so here is how it goes:

  • Get your onions and garlic going until soft and fragrant, then spice it up with the ancho chili powder and cumin.
  • Add your tomatoes and simmer away baby!
  • Blend that until smooth and return to pot.
  • Add your pinto beans and some broth to the blender and buzz those up, too!
  • Mix everything together and simmer
  • Consider, AND THEN DEFINITELY GO FOR, making some jalapeño corn fritters to pop on top for serving.
    Jalapeno corn fritters on a plate.

Let’s Talk Jalapeño Corn Fritters, Shall We?

Cutie, crispy, sweet, savory perfect little corn fritters. Oh my. OH MY. You would definitely commonly find this soup with some fresh crunchy tortilla strips on top, which would be great, but there’s just something so special about making one extra loop in the kitchen to get these guys in your bowl. The batter is simple and they fry up quickly and then you are rewarded with the most wonderful little stack of sweet corn goodness, floating in your soup. The top stays crisp and the bottoms get a little like a dumpling with juicy little bursts of corn and tiny kicky bits of jalapeño throughout.

Flavor: A+. Texture: 10/10 would recommend.

We’re so excited to have this one on heavy rotation this soup season, the best of all seasons. So, gather all your toppings and get yourself ready for this warmly-spiced and deeply flavored bowl of love (and fritters!🤩).

Spoon with a scoop of jalapeno corn fritters and sopa tarasca.

Is this soup spicy?

There’s lots and lots of flavor in this soup plus some heat, but it’s not super spicy.

Can I use regular chili powder instead of ancho chili powder?

Yes! Just add a teeny bit of red pepper flakes in addition to the regular chili powder.

What else, besides the fritters, can I serve with this soup?

Tortilla chips, homemade tortilla strips, or our jalapeño corn muffins would be really, really good.

Can this be made in the Instant Pot?

It can! See notes in recipe card.

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