Sunday, January 4, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

When Jon and I were in Cabo, we ate tortilla soup almost every day. I left Mexico saying that I had to make it when we got back. Almost 2 years later, I finally tried it.

I found an Emeril recipe on the Food Network web site. I followed the soup recipe with a few changes; also, I didn't make the seasoned tortilla strips (made regular strips instead) or the Chipotle crema. Below is what I did -
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp crushed tomatoes (my addition)
  • 6 cups chicken stock (I may have used just a bit more)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped, for garnish
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts rubbed with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder (this is a change I made..the original recipe called for raw, cubed chicken being added to the soup for the last 5 minutes)


  • Cook chicken: heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan. Add chicken and cook over medium heat until cooked through. Once cooled, shred and put in the fridge until you are ready to serve the soup. (Option - to really add some flavor to the soup, deglaze this saute pan with a bit of chicken broth and add it to your soup when you add the broth. I do this with my chicken chili and it really adds a ton of flavor. And why waste all that goodness left in the saute pan!! Or alternatively, cook the chicken in the Dutch oven you use for the soup.)
  • In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well.
  • Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy pot or electric fryer to 350 degrees F. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  • To serve: put a serving of chicken in each bowl (it's cold, but the soup will heat it). Ladle the soup into 4 or 6 serving bowls. Garnish each serving with the diced avocado and the fried tortilla strips.

I love this recipe! The flavors were amazing, the color was beautiful, and it tasted a lot like soups we tried in Mexico. I'm glad I cooked and shredded the chicken separately instead of cooking it in the soup. I was able to add more flavor, the shredded chicken worked better than cubed chicken (in my opinion), and each person can have as much or as little chicken as they want - or even no chicken!

I'll be adding this recipe to my soup rotation!

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  1. That soup sounds perfect right now! I'm enjoying soup as much as I can with the freezing temps we've been having.

  2. This recipe looks great and perfect for the cold winter!

  3. Tortilla soup is one of my all time favorites - and homemade is sooo much better than any I've ever had in a restaurant!

  4. I have now tried 2-3 of your recipes (2 being soups) and I love them. My husband even ate leftovers of this soup.
    Love your blog and look forward to trying more of your recipes!
    Thanks! Eileen