Chicken Tortilla Soup

A spicy smoky broth filled with shredded chicken, black beans, and corn, topped with crispy tortilla chips, gooey melted cheese, scallions, and sour cream.  What’s not to love?  Chicken tortilla soup is just irresistible.  Sort of like the huevos rancheros I made, it seems there are a million ways to do chicken tortilla soup, and this is just the way I like it.  I give it lots of flavor every step of the way, starting by browning the chicken in the pan and incorporating all that brown flavor into the stock, and adding some dried chiles and simmering it with the broth.  The result is a very full flavored soup with lots of spice and smokiness to it.  Please, feel free to make your own adjustments to this recipe as you see fit.  Here’s how to do it:

1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 small onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz corn kernels (frozen, canned, or fresh)
16oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp tomato paste
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
32 oz box chicken stock or broth
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper (or chili powder)
4 dried pasilla chiles
1 bag of tortilla chips
sour cream or yogurt, for garnish
chopped scallions, for garnish
lime, for garnish, optional
8 oz bag shredded colby jack or pepper jack cheese
salt and pepper

Heat up a big pot over medium high heat, then add the olive oil.  Season the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper, then add to the pan.  Sear for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until it’s golden brown on both sides.
Add the chopped onion and garlic, and turn the heat down to medium.  There should be enough liquid in the onions to pick up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Make sure to scrape those bits up.  Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened.

Remove the chicken breasts from the pan, and add the corn, black beans, tomato paste, diced tomatoes with green chiles, chicken broth, oregano, coriander, cumin, chipotle chile pepper, and pasilla chiles.  Bring the soup to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.  Shred up the chicken, then add it back to the pan.  Simmer for 45 minutes so the flavors can meld together, and add water as needed to restore the original broth consistency.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.  When the soup is done simmering, remove the pasilla chiles and discard.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls.  Immediately add the cheese so it can melt in the hot soup.  Add a handful of tortilla chips, garnish with scallions, sour cream, and a lime and serve.  Enjoy!

Click here for the printable recipe.

This entry was posted in Chicken, Soup and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. I love this soup. I make one similar without the tortillas. I know it’s not tortilla soup! But it’s a spicy tomato with the shredded chicken. It just tastes so great in the soup like that.

  2. Caroline says:

    I love the smoky aspect of the soup. We used to make a delicious, yet really thick and heavy tortilla soup, but switched to making a broth-based version like yours. Sounds delicious!

  3. Your soup is perfect! I love tortilla soup, and am always looking to change it up. This smoky one sounds great for my family!

  4. Christine says:

    Your soup looks wonderful. Yum factor. 🙂

  5. This looks delicious, a really interesting dish. Must be yum.

  6. This Chicken Tortilla Soup is very hearty and perfect for the winter months we’re expecting here in NYC. I love this recipe

  7. Wow, I have to say that your Chicken Tortilla Soup could beat up my Chicken Tortilla Soup! I’m throwing out my recipe and using yours! Yum!

  8. Ann says:

    Oh, this is amazing! What a GREAT recipe and perfect for the season! Thanks for sharing!

  9. alyssa says:

    This is a great looking soup! I have two bags of dried chilis but I never know what to do with them. Great idea to simmer them in the broth! I’ll have to try that next time.

  10. Chicken tortilla soup is my favorite soup of all time! Need to make some soon and will try your recipe! Looks great.

  11. Oh my! this looks like the kind of ‘so-good-but-tastes-so-naughty’ soup that we LOVE. Have you thought about entering it into our Soup of the Month competition?

  12. Wow your photographs aree amazing ! This soup looks lovely. Maybe we can tempt you to try one of ours in return??

  13. Chelsea Killam says:

    I *love* tortilla soup, I’m so glad you’ve got a recipe, I can’t wait to try it! I’ve been thinking of attempting it on my own, but now I”m sure it’ll turn out great =)

  14. This looks delicious! I will definitely have to try this!

Enlighten us all with your food thoughts and wisdom =)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s