Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love soup. Done right, it can be a complete meal and is the ultimate comfort food on cold winter days. One of my favorite soups – both to make and consume – is chicken tortilla. The chicken stock base in my version comes through just enough to be slightly reminiscent of chicken noodle, but the spices and addition of diced tomatoes and black beans gives it a new twist. I made a big batch the day after Christmas so I didn’t have to think about doing any more cooking for a few days. There was enough that I was also able to freeze some for lunches. The ease with which this meal comes together and the fact that it stretches makes it a winner in my book. The fact that it tastes good too means that we have the ultimate trifecta. My recipe is below, but this is not rocket science and any ingredient can be adjusted to suit your family’s individual tastes, which is yet another reason why this soup is the perfect answer to the question “what’s for dinner?”.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Serves 6-8


  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or equivalent from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of corn
  • 6-8 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 2 4 ounce cans of diced green chiles
  • 2 15 ounce cans of rinsed black beans
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 4-6 cups unsalted chicken stock (total amount depends on how long soup is simmered)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp (or more to taste) black pepper
  • sage to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 avocado for topping (optional)
  • fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  1. Chop the onion and jalapeno and press the garlic
  2. Heat olive or vegetable oil in dutch oven or large pan (*note – I never have vegetable oil in the house, so I always use olive oil and even though it seems strange, it always comes out tasting fine). When oil is hot, saute the onion, jalapeno and garlic until the onions start to become translucent and the mixture is fragrant.
  3. Add chicken stock, chili powder, cumin, paprika, pepper and salt. Bring to a  boil.
  4. Rinse black beans and add to soup.
  5. Add can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), green chiles (do not drain) and corn.
  6. Simmer for at least an hour over low heat.
  7. When soup is ready to eat, you can add diced (or mashed) avocado, cilantro, and/or sour cream to round out the dish.

**Note: This can also be made in a crock pot. When I do that, I don’t add the beans until the last 45 minutes of cooking or so and I only use rotisserie chicken because I have a weird thing about adding the raw chicken directly into the soup.

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