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Although it originates from the Michoacan city of Patzcuaro it was in Morelia, the capital of the state of Michoacan, that I had last eaten this wonderful Tarrasca Soup. I was delighted by what I consider now one of the best soups I have ever had in Mexico. The flavours were bold and rich thanks to the beans and the chilies in particular. It was very spicy but the kind of spiciness I can take and have grown to love here in Mexico.

It takes two of my favourite chilies, the Guajillo and the chile Negro. The Chile Negro is not as spicy but its flavour complements everything else. They are both dried chiles as you can see here. Globalization allows chiles to be found in other parts of the world, I’ve seen them in Europe and in the US many times. The Guajillos are not very spicy. Usually, smaller chiles are more spicy. For this soup you will have to remove all the seeds and veins of the chiles. If you are afraid it will be too spicy for you, then just reduce the amount of chiles by half.

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Since that time in Morelia I have been trying out recipes of Tarrasca soup. In my opinion, one of the best recipes can be found in a book I had bought on the Tradictional Cuisine of Michoacan by Rubi Silva. This is an adaptation to that recipe.

Tarrasca Soup

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Serves 6

Ingredients for the soup:

  • 150 g/5.3 oz of black beans, should be left to soak in water for a few hours or better yet the day before
  • 200 g/7 oz tomatoes
  • 50 g/1.7 oz Chile Guajillo, seeded and deveined
  • 7 g/0.2 oz garlic
  • 75 g/2.6 oz onion
  • 7 1/4 cups water


Ingredients for the final touches:

  • 180 g/6.3 oz of cream
  • 2 tortillas, fried
  • 200 g/7 oz avocado, cut in small cubes
  • 200 g/7 oz cheese Cotija, grated
  • 1 chile Negro, chopped, fried 1 minute in olive oil


  1. Boil the beans in low heat with salted water for about 45 to 50 minutes. Add to the pan the tomatoes, chiles guajillo, the garlic and onion and boil for 15 minutes more.
  2. Let it cool a bit and then pour everything into an electric blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Remove and pour the soup into a saucepan and in low heat cook for 5 minutes more. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
  3. Serve in soup bowls adding the cream, avocado in small cubes, the grated cheese Cotija, the fried tortillas julienned and the chile Negro. The chile Negro should only be fried for 1 minute as I mentioned. It could burn if you cook it longer.

I can’t tell you enough how I love this Tarrasca soup. It is a true traditional Mexican soup with all the bold flavours and the right amount of spiciness given by the wonderful aromatic Mexican chiles. I hope you  are willing to try something new and different. Be assured, you will love it.

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Welcome! Through my photography and my travels, you will discover the people I have encountered and the places that will stay with me forever. In this crazy new reality we seem to be living, it is even more important to be grateful for all the people who have crossed our path and touched us in same way. As for all the old and new stones, they can live in our imaginary for now, waiting, when the time is right again ...

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