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5 from 6 votes

Sopita (Sopa de Conchas): Mexican Shells and Cheese

Sopita is a popular and simple Mexican soup recipe made using shell pasta, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. It is affordable, versatile, and so easy to make!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 250kcal


  • Medium Pot
  • Wooden Spoon


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups Medium shell pasta 8 oz, (you can also use small shells)
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 ½ tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 lime optional for topping
  • Queso Fresco optional for topping (can substitute parmesan cheese if necessary)


  • In a medium-large pot, heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil to a medium high heat. Then add 2 ½ cups uncooked pasta.
  • Stir the pasta until it toasts and turns brown, making sure to not let it burn.
  • Once the pasta is toasted, add 4 ½ cups water, ½ cup tomato sauce, and 2 ½ tbsp chicken bouillon powder. Stir to combine.
  • Cover the pasta and bring the water to a boil. Then boil the pasta for about 10-12 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through.
  • Spoon the soup into a bowl, squeeze some fresh lime juice (optional) over the top, and enjoy!


Recipe Copyright The Foreign Fork. For educational or personal use only.
  • Pasta: You can use many different types of pasta in this recipe. Most recipes call for using small shells, but I couldn’t find any so I used medium shells instead. You can also use star pasta.
  • Tomato Sauce: Some recipes call for blending up fresh tomatoes and using the resulting juice, but I actually like the flavor of canned tomato sauce better for this recipe.
  • Chicken Bouillon Powder: You can find chicken bouillon powder in the grocery store. I recommend the powder as opposed to the chicken bouillon cubes or the gel, because the powder dissolves best in the liquid. Some recipes call for the tomato flavored chicken bouillon. Either will work.
  • Toppings: You can get lime juice or queso fresco as toppings for the individual bowls.
  • Some recipes add corn kernels or diced yellow onion into the pot along with the dry pasta when you are toasting. You can add this or any extra vegetables that sound good (see below for more suggestions).
  • If you are using smaller shells or a different shape of pasta, your cook time may differ. Check the back of the box for approximate cook time.
  • For some extra protein, we like to add some cooked ground beef into the bowls with the soup. It reminds us of one of our favorites, this Creamy Beef and Shells recipe.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 805mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg