Chicken Tortilla Soup
I have no idea what to write about this chicken tortilla soup recipe except that it’s the best in the world and you must believe me.
Please, do not turn your ear away from the apparent arrogance in my self-serving claim of it being the best chicken tortilla soup recipe in the world and just listen to this story that will prove it:
When I was vegetarian, I used to make this without the chicken and it was still good.
Really. I took out the number one ingredient – the ingredient for which the recipe is named – and it was still delightful. I think that is pretty significant.
I have a shortcut here with the broth that gives a rich flavor without requiring a million hours of simmering and straining. To try it is to love it.
Chicken Tortilla Soup Video
Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe – Printable card!Print
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- 1 fresh tomato, chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 a large onion)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 guajillo chile
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken (or turkey)
- 1 cup sliced carrots and celery, each
- 1 zucchini, cut into thick half-circles
- 1/2 cup poblano pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- For serving: tortilla strips, avocado, cheese, sour cream, diced onion, Spanish rice, lime wedges
- Toast the guajillo pepper over a flame or a dry skillet for a few seconds. (Substitute an ancho chile or 1 teaspoon of chile powder.)
- Combine tomato, onion, garlic, spices, chile in a blender with a little water – maybe 1/2 cup – to make a smooth paste.
- Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a large stockpot over medium heat and add tomato sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, until it turns a darker shade of red.
- Add chicken stock, salt, chicken, and vegetables through poblano.
- Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Add a handful of tortillas strips and simmer a minute longer to thicken the soup.
- Add cilantro.
- Serve topped with tortilla strips and whatever other garnishes you like. (But lime wedges are very important!)
To make fat-free tortilla strips in the oven, slice corn tortillas into 1/4″ strips and put in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees F for about 15 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes, until dry and crispy.
To make this recipe with fresh chicken, poach two boneless, skinless chicken breast halves in the broth mixture for 10 minutes before adding vegetables. Remove and let cool, then shred. Recombine in the pot with the vegetables and continue as directed.
To make vegetarian tortilla soup, substitute a cup or two of cooked black or pinto beans for the chicken and vegetable stock for chicken stock.
Other vegetables you might like in this are green beans, cabbage, and corn.
P.S. Here’s a recipe for Spanish rice if you don’t have one. It really is nice served under the soup, especially if you’ve made the soup without the chicken: Spanish Rice
And also, How to Make Chicken Stock.