I don’t know about you, but I love, love, love me some Chicken Tortilla Soup. Or some Turkey Tortilla Soup. Or probably ANY Tortilla Soup. Just put it in front of me and I’ll eat it – no questions asked.
Anytime I go out and see Chicken Tortilla Soup on a menu, I hafta order it. And no two are ever alike. This one leans toward the brothier side, full of chicken, corn & beans, lime & spices.
It’s the tortillas that make the soup. Maybe that’s why its called Tortilla Soup lol! They’re the best part of it, aren’t they? Especially if they’re fried & all crunchy deliciousness. You can garnish this up with all kinds of things. Avocado, cheese, sour cream, diced red onion and cilantro to name a few.
I add spices to my soup, but if you’re in a shortcutty kinda mode, feel free to use a packet or part of a packet of taco or fajita seasoning. I also use a can of Rotel, but a can of tomatoes and a can of green chile will work. I don’t know what it is about Rotel, though, cause it just has its own special sumpin’ sumpin’ going on.
Think about making this if you have any leftover chicken or turkey – or make extra earlier in the week so you do, or just cook up a little chicken for this soup. Either way, it’s delish. This is a great way to use a few tortillas languishing in your fridge, too. Except for the garnishes, most of this soup can come from the pantry or freezer so it’s a perfect pick me up on a cold, winter day.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 3 chicken breast halves, cooked & shredded chicken (around 2 1/2 cups or so) see notes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion or two small, finely diced
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced (any color or a mix is fine)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (add to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 32 ounces Low Sodium Chicken Stock (about 4 cups) plus an additional two cups of broth or water (see notes)
- 1 can (10 ounces) Rotel (or use any tomatoes & green chile product or a can of diced tomatoes & a can of green chiles)
- 2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, drained
- 1 can of corn (14 ounces) drained
- 5 – 8 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips (3 for the soup & the rest for garnish, so keep them separate)
- 2 limes, one juiced for soup, the other sliced for garnish
- 1/2 orange, juiced (optional)
Garnishes of your choice:
- sliced Avocado
- diced red onion
- cheese of choice
- pico de gallo (recipe on this post)
- sour cream
- limes & tortilla chips (listed above in soup ingredients)
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and minced jalapeno. Cook until softened, then add garlic, spices and tomato paste and cook for a minute or two until tomato paste loses its bright red color.
Pour in chicken stock and/or water, Rotel, beans and corn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Add shredded chicken and the three shredded tortillas and gently stir. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, adjusting heat if necessary.
Add the juice from the lime, and from the half orange if using. Check seasonings for flavor and add more of any spices as desired.
While the soup is cooking, heat a little oil in a small pan and fry the tortilla strips until crispy, working in batches. Stir them around a bit as they fry so they’ll be a lovely tangle for the garnish. Place on a paper towel to drain, sprinkle with salt while still warm and set aside for the garnish.
Ladle into bowls, then top with fried tortillas and garnishes of your choice. Serve with lime wedges.
- Chicken: any chicken or turkey will do for this soup, leftover is fine. If you don’t have cooked chicken, drizzle the breasts with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in a 375 degree oven until done, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Broth: feel free to hold back on the extra broth and/or water until all ingredients are in so you can decide how thick & chunky the soup is or how brothy it is.
- In the past, I’ve added a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to this soup; I didn’t add it this time, but if this soup feels to you like it needs a little “earthy” backnote, feel free to use.
Add all ingredients, except for the lime and orange and the garnishes, to the crockpot in order listed .
There’s no need to precook chicken, just add to the bottom if raw, but if using already cooked chicken, add it to the top. There’s no need to saute any of the vegetables, either.
Cover and cook on high for two to three hours or low for four to six.
When ready to eat, stir the ingredients together, and if you’ve cooked your chicken in the crockpot, remove, shred, and add back in.
Add the lime and orange if using, taste and adjust seasoning and garnish as desired.
If you came to this recipe looking for a way to use leftover turkey or chicken, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Turkey. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Ham, too.