Shrimp Tortilla Soup

Shrimp Tortilla Soup
Photo by Tatum Mangus

This light but hearty soup gets plenty of flavor from poblano chiles and homemade shrimp stock. Finely chopped corn tortillas help thicken the soup as it simmers. Poblanos can vary in heat, so taste before adding and adjust to suit your preferences. Having a sweet bell pepper on hand as a heat-free substitute is a kid-friendly dinner time strategy. 

Shrimp Tortilla Soup | Sitka Salmon Shares

Active time: 30 min
Total time: 30 min
Serves: 4


  • 1 pound spot shrimp, shells and roe reserved
  • 2 cups bottled clam juice
  • 2 corn tortillas, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced and seeded poblano chile
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can hominy, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
  • Sour cream, lime wedges, and tortilla chips for serving



In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the shrimp shells and roe with the clam juice and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is infused with shrimp flavor, about 15 minutes. Strain into a heatproof bowl, discarding the shells and roe. Add the chopped tortillas to the bowl, and let sit until the tortillas are softened, about 5 minutes.


In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, poblano, garlic, and cumin and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion, pepper, and garlic are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.


Stir the reserved broth and add it to the pot along with the hominy. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft and the liquid is slightly thickened, 7 to 10 minutes.


Cut any large shrimp in half, then add all of the shrimp to the pot. Simmer just until the shrimp are pink and curled, 2 to 3 minutes.


Stir in the chopped cilantro. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves, sour cream, lime wedges, and tortilla chips and serve. 

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Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

Serve a cold, crisp lager alongside this flavorful soup to balance the heat of the poblanos and sweetness of the shrimp.

Level it Up

Level it Up

Crabmeat and shells add richness and flavor to the soup and broth. Replace the shrimp shells and shrimp with the shells and crabmeat from 1 Dungeness crab cluster. Serve jalapeño hot sauce on the side for extra heat.

Change it Up

Change it Up

The soup can be refrigerated overnight and reheated over medium heat. Stir in additional broth if necessary. 

Lighten it Up

Lighten it Up

Reduced-fat sour cream is a fine alternative to its full-fat counterpart. To cheat a creamy texture, puree the soup using an immersion blender in step 3 before you add the shrimp.


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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