Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup.  This one has to be my all time favorite, which is no small feat because there are quite a few soups in the running for that title.  This one just has it all.   It has all the familiar flavor profiles of Mexican food, which just happens to be my family's favorite cuisine.   This soup is hearty and filling without being overloaded with fat or carbs.  

I've tried countless tortilla soup recipes over the years, and it wasn't until I combined about six different recipes that I finally found my soup.  I took the best components from each one, married them together, and found perfection.  I think you'll agree, this soup is divine.  I am sure it will find its way into your dinner rotation in no time!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3-4 organic, free range chicken breasts
32 oz. organic chicken stock ( I use Pacific Natural Foods Low Sodium)
3 c water
2 c cilantro stems and sprigs- tied with kitchen twine, plus 3 T chopped cilantro
2 T vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 each red and green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded, cored, and diced
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1 can organic black beans, drained
1 can organic fire roasted tomatoes  ( I used Muir Glen)
salt and pepper
8 corn tortillas cut in 1/4 inch strips

1 avocado, diced
4 green onions, sliced
shredded cheese ( I used pepperjack)
sour cream 

Preheat oven to 375.  Place tortilla strips on baking sheet and toss with 1 T oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake until golden and crispy, about 14 minutes, turning a few times to ensure even cooking.

In a large stock pot, combine chicken, cilantro bundle, stock, and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through- about 10 minutes.  Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool.  Dice or shred chicken when cool enough to handle.  Remove cilantro bundle and strain broth through a strainer lined with cheesecloth.  Pour broth back in pan and turn heat to low. 

While chicken is poaching, heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large saucepan.  Add onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, and chili powder and cook over medium heat until veggies begin to soften, about 6 minutes.  Add beans and tomatoes and cook 1 minute more.  Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer half of veggie mixture into blender or food processor along with a ladle full of reserved broth.  Blend until smooth.

Add both veggies mixtures into broth.  Add chicken back in and simmer 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls.  Garnish with tortilla strips, cilantro, cheese, avocado and green onion.  Serve and enjoy immediately! 

* The broth and poached chicken can be done up to a day ahead, refrigerate until ready to use.


  1. This is probably my favorite soup too! I love that you blend half of the veggies with some is similar to the one my mom makes. I think I'll try yours the next time I make it...probably this weekend because after seeing this, I am definitely in the mood for some!Yum!

  2. So glad you posted this!! Will definitely be making this A LOT this winter! Thanks!