Hmmm, Having a bowl of this Chicken Tortilla Soup is like having a warm bowl of all the things you love about Mexican food at once! From the shredded chicken in a tomato-based broth, steeped in a nice Mexican spice combination and topped with the crispy texture of the tortillas, your taste buds are genuinely delighted.
Beyond the soup itself, this Chicken Tortilla Soup is taken next level with the garnish bar of items you offer when serving. Mexican cheese blend, red onion, sour cream, or even slices of avocado. There is nothing like pulling up a spoonful of this soup with cheese strings attached, with a slight cooling of sour cream and a crunch of the tortillas to send you over the moon!
I first had this version of Chicken Tortilla Soup at my girlfriend Lynne’s lake house. She correctly had it cooking all day, so the spices and broth came together so beautifully that the house smelled of the fantastic Mexican dish that was to come. After that first bowl, because to be honest there were two… just saying…. I knew this would just have to be shared with all of you, so let’s get to it!!
Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients
- Ground cumin
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Salt, plus more to taste
- 1 pre-roasted chicken
- Olive oil
- Diced onion
- Diced green bell pepper
- Two Ears of corn, roasted (or frozen)
- Cloves garlic, minced
- Can of Rotel
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Hot water
- Tomato paste
- Black beans
- Fresh Cilantro
Garnish Items include Sour Cream, Avocado, Red Onion
Chicken Tortilla Soup Hack
Before we get to the instructions for making this soup, I wanted to share a quick time saver for this soup and others that contain chicken. Most soups call for a chicken broth to added using raw chicken is not going to impart enough flavor to make a big difference.
So when most soups tell you to use boneless chicken breasts and bake them off, cube them etc.. What I like to use the pre-roasted chicken from Costco because they are insanely cheap and have so much flavor! It saves so much time and dishes quite frankly!
As you can see below, the standard chicken breasts from a roaster at Costco will yield a pound and half of shredded chicken! You can save the other dark meat to use in another recipe for the week like chicken salad, YUM!
You will want to carefully remove the breasts from the chicken. Then cut it in cubes or shredded it which I like to do.
How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Take your pre-roasted purchased chicken and carefully cut out the breasts. Then cut the chicken into cubes or shred the chicken as I prefer to do.
- Mix the cumin, one teaspoon of chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Take one teaspoon of the spice mixture, sprinkle it over the shredded chicken, and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, green and red bell peppers, and garlic with a tablespoon of the spice mixture you sprinkled on the chicken earlier. Sprinkle a tad more chili powder (about 1/4 teaspoon) for heat.
- After the vegetables start to brown, for 5 minutes or so, add the shredded chicken, diced tomatoes with the juice, chicken broth, hot water, tomato paste, and black beans, and give it a good stir.
- Let this sit until it comes to a boil, then lower the temperature to low.
- Add the cornmeal with 1/2 cup of water and mix in a small bowl. Add this to the soup and simmer it on the stove for 10-15 minutes. Salt to taste.
- To make tortilla soup, add the tortillas. Cut the tortillas into uniform 2- to 3-inch strips. Stir most of them into the soup just before serving. If you like them crispy, cook them in oil that is 350 degrees for about 5 minutes until golden brown.
- Garnish soup with avocado, red onion, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and extra tortilla strips to the top.
Storing Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup:
- You can store your leftover soup for 3 -4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- If you want to freeze your soup, you can put it in an airtight container and freeze it for up to two months. Simply thaw it out and reheat it slowly in saucepan on the stove top.
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