Chicken Tortilla Soup will warm you up with tender chicken, lots of veggies, and a bold kick from the spices. Finish with homemade tortilla strips, diced avocado, a little sour cream and sharp cheese. Ready in under 30 minutes on the stove, or in the crock pot after a long day
This is a sponsored post, and the recipe was featured in the October, 2017 issue of Stillwater Living Magazine.
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For many people, especially families with kids, summer means long lazy days. That all changes once kids are back in school and Fall hits. Homework, sports, lessons, and everything else that goes along with it means that there’s less time for relaxation. That also means you need dinner on the table quickly after a long day. Sure it’s easy to stop at a drive-through, or rely on frozen meals, but those aren’t usually the healthiest options.
In reality, you can have so many home-cooked meals on the table within 30 minutes. Soup is one, and what I love about soup is its versatility. For some reason I thought soup was difficult to make, so I never tried it myself until 2 years ago. Then one day I came across a really delicious-looking soup from a fellow blogger, and decided to give it a shot. One bite of Thai Shrimp Soup proved my fear totally unfounded. I made one other fabulous Sausage and Penne Soup, but that was it…until now. So in looking for an easy Fall meal for a busy lifestyle, I knew that Chicken Tortilla Soup was a perfect solution.
This Chicken Tortilla Soup is so delicious. Bold flavors, beautiful colors, hearty, and filling all in one. Not only that, it’s so easy to make. Some soups do better on the stovetop, while many others will work either on the stovetop or in the crock pot. On the stove, Chicken Tortilla Soup will be on the table within 30 minutes.
KEY INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
- I use rotisserie chicken, and use the dark meat pieces. I also add in the bones for extra flavor (in a piece of cheesecloth), and pull them out before serving. If cooking in a crock pot, use frozen chicken
- I add fresh jalapeno and a little bit of Cayenne Pepper into the soup, and sweat the jalapeno early with the onions. If you don’t like a lot of spice, you can eliminate one or both, or just reduce the amount you use. With the jalapeno, remember that the seeds hold all the heat…so make sure you remove the seeds first!
- Homemade Vegetable Broth has a wonderful depth of flavor, so that’s what I use. If you use store bought, go with Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- Roasted garlic has such an amazing flavor, and adds another layer of depth to any dish, so I use both raw and roasted
- I use Petit-Diced Tomatoes, because it’s already diced perfectly. If you use canned whole tomatoes, you will need to cut them
- For this recipe, I go with Black Beans for convenience. Of course, if you have dried black beans you can use those, but it takes longer because they have to soak for several hours
- I use frozen corn because you really don’t get good fresh corn in the winter. But if you do have fresh, go ahead and use that
TOPPINGS FOR CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
I make my own tortilla strips for this Chicken Tortilla Soup! All you need is Corn Tortillas, a little sea salt and some Avocado Oil Spray. I had no idea they are so incredibly simple to make. Or how easy they are to burn. I put a batch into the oven, and about 10 minutes later pulled out completely burnt strips. I checked the second batch after about 7 minutes and they were better, but still not great. The third batch I cooked for about 6 minutes, and got it almost perfect.
I love avocado, and they are a perfect accompaniment to the Chicken Tortilla Soup. They add a wonderful creamy texture, and help to tone down the spice.
I always add cheese to my Chicken Tortilla Soup. I don’t keep Mexican shredded cheese on hand, but I always have Cabot Sharp Cheddar, and I love the bite it adds
Sour cream is completely optional. With the jalapeno and cayenne–and I think I double-poured my cayenne–I needed the sour cream.
Chicken Tortilla Soup is definitely on my regular meal plan, especially in the Fall and Winter. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you want, and you can add your choice of toppings. And, as I mentioned, it’s on the table in 30 minutes so you can’t beat that on a busy weekday.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced small
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, diced small
- 2 cloves raw garlic, minced
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, minced
- 4 cups homemade vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes and juice
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded (I use all dark meat)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- diced avocado
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- Preheat oven to 375F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
- Loosely scatter the tortilla strips, evenly drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, toss with hands to coat evenly
- Bake for until crisp and lightly golden brown; set aside. Strips will burn easily, so check them after about 7 minutes. Depending on how many strips you make, it will take 7-12 minutes to get golden brown
- To a large stockpot or Dutch Oven, add 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
- Add the onion, jalapeno, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
- OPTIONAL: Place chicken bones in a piece of cheesecloth, and tie closed with string. The bones will add even more flavor to the soup.
- Add the chicken, bones, broth, tomatoes and juice, black beans, corn, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, smoked paprika, optional cayenne pepper
- Bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
- Taste soup. You will probably not need to add any salt, but if so, add sparingly. Soup can get very salty very quickly. Once it’s in there, you can’t take it out.
- Remove cheesecloth with chicken bones
- Add a little more fresh lime juice, and fresh cilantro
- Ladle soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips, avocado, cheese and sour cream
- NOTE: Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.