Joy’s Sopa de Achiote (Chicken, Brown Rice & Corn Soup)

Perfect on a chilly, rainy Mexico City January evening.

Note: Use more water if you like your soup soupy, less if you like a more hearty stew. Will feed 6. Makes excellent leftovers.


  • Meat from 1 roasted chicken (I didn’t use all of it, about 75% of the meat), torn into thin 1-inch strips
  • 1 large can peeled Roma tomatoes, chopped into large chunks, save all contents of can
  • 1/3 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 beer
  • 1 tablespoon achiote powder
  • 1 cup corn (or more, depends on how “corny” you want your soup)
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1/2- 1 cup cooked brown rice (cooked to firm, not soggy, can use less or more, depending on how soupy you want the soup)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 fresh salsa (not necessary, I added for spice)
  • Fresh corn tortillas + veggie oil to fry them in (optional)

Soup: In large soup pot, saute onions in 3 tablespoons or so olive oil until almost clear. Add garlic, stir and cook for a minute more. Dump entire contents of tomato can (plus chopped tomatoes) into soup pot. Add chicken, bay leaves, achiote, salt/pepper. Add about 1 cup of water. Stir well, and bring to simmer. Once simmering, stir well, then add corn, rice and beer, and salsa, if desired. Cook at least 5 minutes, longer if you want everything more tender. Stir occasionally and taste frequently, tweaking to desired flavor.

Tortillas: Cut in half, then cut into thin strips. In small saucepan, add enough veggie oil to cover tortilla strips. Heat to medium heat. Add strips, fry for 2 minutes on one side, then flip. When golden brown, remove and salt the strips. Keep hot. Serve on top of soup.

4 thoughts on “Joy’s Sopa de Achiote (Chicken, Brown Rice & Corn Soup)

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