This shrimp tortilla soup is an ideal soup for anyone that loves spice + seafood combined into one delicious bite. It is made with shrimp, cilantro, onions, garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes, spices, seafood broth, lime juice and served with queso fresco, tortilla chips, and avocado.
This recipe is a variation of my Uncle Clarence’s famous chicken tortilla soup. I lived with my aunt and him when I first moved to Austin, and loved it when he would prepare this classic tex-mex soup. He prepares it with shrimp, instead of chicken, during Lent, and it is so comforting – I still have a hard time deciding if I prefer it with shrimp or chicken.
The shrimp soup is delicious on its own, but then add tortilla chips, queso fresco, freshly chopped cilantro, green onions and avocado on top and it becomes an amazing mix of flavors. This soup is on the spicy side, but just enough for you to feel the kick of spice without being too overpowering.
You can use just one jalapeño and less cayenne pepper for a less spicy version. On the other hand you can also double them for what my uncle calls the “wild stuff” version. You can also serve some fresh sliced jalapeños on the side for those (like my 10 year old) who love it super spicy.
You can use store bought tortilla chips or you can also make your own at home. I like to make them into tortilla strips by cutting corn tortillas into long (wide or narrow) strips and then frying them in hot oil. It’s very easy to make them. You can also bake the tortilla strips at 375F for about 7-10 minutes for a slightly healthier alternative. To serve the shrimp tortilla soup garnish it with queso fresco, tortilla chips, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, fresh jalapeño slices, and slices of lime.
Shrimp tortilla soup
- 2 tbs oil or butter
- 1 ½ cup diced white or yellow onion about ¾ of a large onion
- 1 bunch of green onions finely chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
- 2 jalapeños seeds removed (or not if you want the wild stuff version), diced
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tbs paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper double for wild stuff version
- 1 tsp sugar
- 6 roma tomatoes peeled and diced, about 2 cups
- 2-4 cups of seafood stock adjust based on how thick you prefer the soup
- 2 cups of tomato juice
- 2 lbs medium sized raw shrimp deveined and peeled (or you can also leave the shells on according your preference)
- ½ cup lime juice – from 2 large limes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crumbled queso fresco or grated monterrey jack cheese
- Tortilla chips homemade or store-bought
- Diced or sliced avocado
- Finely chopped cilantro
- Finely chopped green onions
- Fresh jalapeño slices
- Lime slices
- To make the refrito or base for the soup, heat the oil in large pot.
- Add the onions, green onions, cilantro, jalapeños, crushed garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add the seafood stock and tomato juice. Bring to a boil, add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are done (but not overcooked), about 5-8 minutes- more or less depending on the size of the shrimp.
- Add the lime juice and remove from the heat.
- Serve immediately garnished with queso fresco, tortilla chips, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, green onions and lime slices.