Chicken Tortilla Soup

So we are almost at the end of soup season and I apologize that I am just now sharing this because it is one of my very favorites (oh yeah, and sorry for those of you who are not near the end of winter, but the tides will turn come July when I can't breathe in a tank top because it is so hot and humid).
Chicken tortilla soup is one of those that has been interpreted in a thousand different ways. I prefer mine with a tomato broth base and to have a little bit of chunkiness to it. If I have one thing to say, it is don't skimp on the toppings. The soup is delicious, but the tender chunks of chicken, tangy cheddar, creamy avocado and crunchy tortilla strips are what will knock your socks off.  This is not the quickest version, but I do think it is one of the best, so I find it worth the time to make a batch and freeze half for later.

The original recipe calls for boiling the chicken, which is something I will never go back to after I discovered this.  Of all the ways I used my new, favorite roasted chicken, this might be the best one.  So if you are following me here... get one of these, make this, and then make this soup.

From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.

the yummiest part... the toppings

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Adapted from the Mansion's Tortilla Soup
Recipe Notes
There are a couple of fussy steps to this one, so it might seem to be a little time consuming at first, but I promise it is worth it.  I adapted this recipe from here, but my favorite twist is to roast the chicken.  The flavor and tenderness from this method is unmatched.  In the past I have used regular plum tomatoes to puree, but this time, I had small cherry tomatoes on hand so I used them.  Moral of the story... any tomato will work.
3 tablespoons corn oil
4 corn tortillas, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh onion, pureed
2 cups pureed fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 whole bay leaves
4 tablespoons canned tomato puree
2 quarts chicken stock
cayenne pepper
1 cup cooked chicken, cut into small chunks (click here for recipe)
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3 corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried (directions below)
Step by Step
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute tortillas with garlic and cilantro over medium heat until tortillas are soft.

Add onion and fresh tomato puree and bring to a boil.  Add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, canned tomato puree and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to simmer.  Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste, and cook stirring frequently for 30 minutes.  Skim fat from surface, if necessary.

To make crunchy tortillas strips
Heat a thin layer of corn oil over medium high heat.  Cut three corn tortillas into thin strips.
Lightly fry tortilla strips in oil.  Remove strips when they are golden brown and allow to drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.  Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and allow to cool.


  1. I can't wait to try this! We made your roasted chicken two nights ago and it was amazing! I never could have dreamed that I could make chicken that juicy and it is so easy. Even bought the Martha Stewart meat thermometer which I agree is a great investment at $24. Thanks for sharing this soup... it will go great with the leftovers! Love your blog. Great info!

  2. End to soup season? No way! That's like telling me I can't have ice-cream in December. :)

    Your chicken tortilla soup looks fantastic!