Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love soup.  I love the warmth on cold days, its simplicity as a meal, how easy it is to customize.  It is no wonder that it was the staple, everyday meal for generations past—economical, nutritious, filling—you can find soup recipes for any region of the country or the world.  Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my favorites; I liken it to having a burrito in a bowl.

As with any soup, starting with a base of homemade stock is ideal. Sometimes you have stock on hand and sometimes you don’t, so you end up using bouillon and broth as indicated in this recipe. If you have the time, cook and shred the chicken in the morning and use the bones to make stock throughout the day, ready for soup that night.

Bring on the heat with extra chilies or tone it down with a little more sour cream and avocado on top. Every steaming bowl can be customized with toppings like your favorite salad bar, sure to please everyone at the table.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1            whole  chicken — cooked & shredded
1            tablespoon  sea salt
2            tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
1            medium  onion
4           cloves  garlic
2           teaspoons  cumin
2           teaspoons  chipotle peppers in adobo sauce — chopped fine
2           teaspoons  chili powder
2           whole  bay leaf
2           teaspoons  oregano
2           teaspoons  pepper
1 1/2   cups  chopped green chilies (mild)
2           teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
1            tablespoon  liquid smoke flavoring (hickory)
1            cup  salsa — optional (any brand you like)
2            cans  stewed tomatoes — broken up, smashed, with juices
3            teaspoons  Better than Bouillon Beef Base
12         cups  chicken broth with Better than Bouillon Chicken Base or stock
3            cups of frozen corn — defrosted
3            cans  black beans — drained
1            cup  tortilla chips — crushed

sour cream
Monterey jack cheese
diced tomato
green onions
sliced olives
broken tortilla chips
cilantro — chopped

Cut up chicken into 8-9 pieces.  Place all parts of the chicken, including the back, in a large pot with 3-4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon sea salt. Boil chicken until just cooked through, 25-30 minutes.  Remove chicken from the pot and allow to cool until easy to handle. Skim broth or strain to remove brownish foam and reserve the broth. Add 4-5 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base to the broth and allow to dissolve.

While the chicken is cooling, sauté onion with oil in a large skillet until caramelized, add garlic, and cook until fragrant.  Add spices, bay leaf, chilies in adobo, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, chopped green chilies, and salsa; simmer to meld flavors.  Add stewed tomatoes and simmer another 10 minutes. Add to the pot with the chicken broth.

Add the corn and beans; bring to a low boil for 30 minutes. Add chicken and tortilla chips. Depending on the consistency, add 2-4 cups of beef broth made from the bouillon. If the soup seems too thin to add more liquid, just add the bouillon; simmer for 30 minutes. Salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve over broken tortilla chips with desired toppings.

Also posted in the Tortilla Soup Challenge:



7 responses to “Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. With the snow coming down and the bone chilling temperatures today is for sure a soup day. Thanks for your chicken tortilla soup to try, I look forward to serving to my hungry men who are presently outside trying to get the snow blower to work.

  2. Last two posts are Mexican inspired dishes, my wife would love these. She always crave for Mexican food.

  3. Whoa, I’m getting lost over here today! Tortilla Soup actually IS my favorite, and I’m currently in the midst of a year-long quest to try as many versions as possible (w/ the help of others). I’d love it if you’d link your mouthwatering version up! It’s here ( if you’re interested 🙂

  4. Pingback: Garnishing a Meal: More Than Just A Pretty Plate | Savoring Today

  5. Pingback: Stone Soup and The Well-Fed College Student | Savoring Today

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