Chicken Tortilla Soup

When it gets cold, it seems that I love soup. Fortunately, my soup-disliking boyfriend is a trooper and puts up with my incessant soup making. His caveat, being a spice-aholic, is that my soups are “flavorful” (read: spicy). Fortunately, this is both flavorful and spicy and has quickly become one of my favorite recipes, period. Conveniently, it’s also a great use of leftovers and is magnificently adaptable to whatever happens to require immediate using. In fact, I’ve never made it the exact same way twice.

If you don’t like the heat (or even if you don’t like sweating while you eat) decrease the chile peppers to your taste. The chipotle adds a nice smoky heat that I’d try to keep in there.

Also, I like my soups pretty thick. If you want it more soup-y, use fewer tortillas.


For the soup:

1 T grapeseed oil
a stack of corn tortillas about 1″ thick
2 lbs chicken, trimmed of fat and skin
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks
4 chile japones (de arbol)
1 chipotle chile
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 T minced garlic
2 t cumin
1 t Spanish hot paprika
2-3 t salt, to taste
4-5 c water
1 lime
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c frozen corn


2 avocados, diced
shredded cheese

Prep work:

Your knife work doesn’t have to be perfect because you’ll blend it later.

Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and give the tomato a rough chop. Also, I cut my chiles into big pieces so the full heat would escape from the beginning and I could adjust my seasonings accordingly.

Cut the tortillas into about 1″ pieces.

To cook:

Heat the oil over medium heat.

Saute your onions for about 2-3 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add garlic and chiles, and saute for another 30 seconds or so.

Add the squares of tortilla and saute until they’ve absorbed the moisture.

Add tomatoes, fresh and canned to the pot. At this point, if you’re using raw chicken, add that. If your chicken is already cooked, you can wait until the end.

Add about 4 cups of water, cumin, paprika, and salt. Cover, and let simmer. If you’re cooking raw chicken, simmer until cooked thoroughly and fork-tender, about 1 hour. If you’re using cooked chicken, you can really cook it as long or little as you like. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking.

Just before the soup is done, remove chicken if you cooked it in the stock. Dice or shred the chicken you’re using.

Blend your stock until it’s completely smooth. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do it multiple batches.

Add stock back into the pot. To your soup, add your chicken, corn, black beans, and juice of one lime.

To serve, top with diced avocado, shredded cheese, and cilantro. I’m sure sour cream would also be delicious.

Total cook time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Medium

This entry was posted in Gluten Free, Mexican, Central, and South American, Soup. Bookmark the permalink.

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