Sopa de conchas or sopita is a very easy traditional Mexican soup made with fresh tomatoes and shell pasta. It's ready in under 30 minutes and it's a delicious comfort food that even picky eaters will love.
"Sopa de conchas" translates as "shell soup" in English, and that's exactly what it is — a delicious Mexican shell soup that many Mexicans grow up eating.
It's often made with chicken broth, but it's incredibly easy to adapt into a vegan soup simply by using a vegetable broth instead.
Also called "sopita," sopa de conchas is eaten all year round mostly because it's super easy to make with pantry staples.
It's also a budget-friendly recipe, and the flavors can be adapted as you like. Some people like to blend fresh cilantro with the fresh tomatoes, whereas others add a pinch of oregano or cumin.
Why you'll love this Mexican sopa de conchas
- It's super easy to make in under 30 minutes.
- Since it only requires a handful of ingredients, it's a very budget-friendly recipe.
- You can make it heartier by adding some extra veggies.
Ingredients and substitutions
Tomatoes — Fresh Roma tomatoes are perfect for sopa de conchas. However, if you want to make this soup when tomatoes are not in season, you can use canned tomatoes instead.
Onion — You need a small onion for this soup, and you can use a yellow or red one.
Garlic — It might be tempting to add more garlic to the blender but it's not a good idea because the flavor might become overpowering.
Olive oil — Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil if possible because it really makes a difference in this soup.
Shell pasta — "Conchas" means "shells" in Spanish, so that's what it's traditionally used in this soup. However, you can use any other types of small pasta, such as ditalini or star pasta, for example.
Fresh cilantro — This is optional but if you like it, blend a handful of cilantro with the tomatoes and onion for extra flavor.
How to make sopa de conchas
Add the ripe tomatoes, onion, garlic and cup of water to a blender and mix for 1-2 minutes on high until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven and add the dry shell pasta. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the shells are slightly browned. Be careful not to burn the pasta.
Add the tomato and onion mixture and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve topped with fresh cilantro if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- The shells will continue to soak up the liquid, so you'll need to add extra broth when reheating.
- You can reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Recipe notes and tips
- To make sopa de conchas spicy, add some red chili flakes, ground cumin or ground coriander.
- Some veggies you can add to sopa de conchas include zucchini, leeks, sweetcorn or green beans.
- You may need some extra broth if you add veggies to this soup.
If you liked this sopa de conchas, you might also like some of my other easy vegan soup recipes:
- Vegan Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Orzo Soup)
- Red Cabbage Soup
- Easy Vegan Potato Soup
- Easy Pinto Bean Soup
- Pearl Barley Soup with Leek and Potatoes