The Tortilla Soup Ingredient That Should Be Kept Raw

When the cold weather sets in, nothing can warm your body, while simultaneously satiating your appetite, like a bowl of hot soup. Homemade chicken noodle soup and tomato soup rise to the top of our go-to lists, but the Mexican food favorite, tortilla soup isn't far behind. According to the Taco Guy, hearty and filling, tortilla soup's origin story is a little murky but may have began in Tlaxcala, a city in Mexico that means "the place of tortilla abundance," or, the story could go even further back to pre-Hispanic times. It's a little bit of a guessing game. 

Either way, the flavors that come together to be called tortilla soup are some of the tastiest that will pass your lips. Per the Los Angeles Times, would-be makers of this classic meal will need to have "...chicken broth combined with roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, chiles and tortillas, cut into strips and fried" on hand to achieve the taste associated with this soup lover's favorite.

But, if you plan on whipping-up a pot of tortilla soup, there is one ingredient you want to be sure not to cook.

Don't cook the onions

According to the Los Angeles Times, when making tortilla soup, there's no need to cook those chopped white onions. Instead, the news outlet says to keep them raw. Mexican cooking authority Diana Kennedy told the Times, "To be really authentic, the soup should have only a little white onion, raw not cooked, blended with roasted tomato." 

Why raw onion? Per Mexican Please, raw, white onions have a sharp, edgy taste to them and can really make the flavor of your foods pop when added to your favorite dishes. But raw, white onions are not the only ingredient that makes tortilla soup, tortilla soup. Kennedy suggested to the Times that if tortilla soup is made without epazote, a Mexican spice similar to oregano, per the Spruce Eats, it really isn't authentic tortilla soup. In fact, she won't eat it. 

If you are searching for a tortilla soup recipe that will keep your family coming back for more, check out our options for cooking up a batch in the slow cooker — or the Instant Pot.