Chicken Tortilla Soup

I used to have a different recipe for this soup but it wasn’t quite right. There was something missing and I didn’t even know it until I made this version. It’s Ina Garten’s Mexican Chicken Soup from her Barefoot Contessa at Home Cookbook. I stuck fairly close to her recipe but did make a few changes. The missing key to my soup was adding the corn tortillas to the soup itself. They melt away after 30 minutes or so but they leave the soup thicker and with a wonderful corn flavor. I served this to company last night and we all loved it. My son gobbled it up in no time and I must admit, I wanted seconds. It’s a nice hearty soup that’s full of flavor – perfect for a rainy day. I really enjoyed the crunchy corn tortilla strips, soft avocado & salty cheese toppings.

Shredded Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat
  • 3 cups of chicken broth or water
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp sweet yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and gently boil for 20 minutes. Let the chicken breasts cool then shred with two forks.

Soup:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of onion, diced
  • 1 cup of celery, diced
  • 2 cups of carrots, diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (more if you want spicy)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock (I used homemade)
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp of cumin (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro, chopped (divided)
  • 6 fresh white corn tortillas

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds. Add the carrots, celery, jalapeno, tomatoes, broth, cumin, coriander, sea salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Cut the 6 corn tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into 1/2 inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the corn tortillas have melted away. Add the chicken, taste and re season if needed.

Corn tortilla strips:

  • 5 corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Spray each side of all the tortillas & lay in a pile. Cut into thin strips & spread across the baking dish then season with sea salt. Bake in the oven until golden brown – watch them carefully because they burn easily. It usually takes about 3-5 minutes.

Additional Toppings:

  • 1 – 2 avocados, diced
  • Cotija cheese, grated
  • Fresh cilantro (remainder from above ingredients)

Ladle soup into large soup bowls. Add some avocado, tortilla strips, a sprinkle of cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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22 Responses to “Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. 1

    nicole — October 15, 2008 @ 5:05 am

    I love soups and I’m so glad it is cold enough for them. Looks nice and warm.

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  2. 2

    Paula — October 15, 2008 @ 6:09 am

    I just love how you serve such amazing food to your friends! This soup is absolutely lovely. Ina’s recipes really are so good. Your bowl and plate charger are darling, too. I make soup every week, and this one is shooting up to the top of the list for next time!

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  3. 3

    Lore — October 15, 2008 @ 7:48 am

    I could eat this soup all fall and winter long! I would never thought of adding tortillas to a soup before, thanks for the inspiration :)

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  4. 4

    HoneyB — October 15, 2008 @ 8:21 am

    I could so eat this. Looks so delicious.

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  5. 5

    Adam — October 15, 2008 @ 11:58 am

    Now this is an absolute stomach warmer, Pam. Perfect for when the weather gets cold, and you need a pick me up. I have to try and talk my mom into making this when I get back in from firewood chopping this Fall :) (I’ll try and be sneaky about it)

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  6. 6

    Katherine Aucoin — October 15, 2008 @ 12:39 pm

    I was going to make you mexican stew this week and then I saw this. No reason I can’t try both, my family will gobble them both up. Another wonderful dish that you make look so elegant.

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  7. 7

    Priya — October 15, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

    I lovz soups..tortilla soup with chicken wat an amazing work..loved the clicks..tempting one..

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  8. 8

    HDMac — October 15, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

    I love chicken tortilla soup. This looks very good – have saved recipe and hope to try soon!

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  9. 9

    Maria — October 15, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

    We have been on a soup kick at our house. I love a good tortilla soup and this one looks fabulous!

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  10. 10

    Cheryl — October 15, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

    You can read my mind from next door, LOL! Yesterday I was thinking that was the next soup I was going to try! YUMMY@

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  11. 11

    April in CT — October 15, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

    I can’t wait to make this! I’ve been seeing cotija cheese on so many blogs lately I’m interested to try it.

    I absolutely LOVE that you have a printable link for your recipes. Makes it so easy!

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  12. 12

    Marjie — October 15, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

    I love chicken soup with a lot of veggies in it! This is really pretty in your square white bowl.

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  13. 13

    Emily — October 15, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

    Wow! This sounds like a winner! I have been wanting to make this ever since I saw Ina make it! Now it is a must! Great pics too!

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  14. 14

    Live.Love.Eat — October 15, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

    I can use some of that right now. My office is freezing!!!!!!!! I love your pics and I love the cojita on top!!!!!!

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  15. 15

    Jason — October 15, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

    Oh, I love the Barefoot Contessa recipes, they are always so delicious! This soup looks like heaven, perfect for the cold weather we are having.

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  16. 16

    *Priscilla* — October 15, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

    i will have this one bookmarked for when it gets colder over here – it looks yummy!!

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  17. 17

    CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta — October 15, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

    Chicken tortilla soup has always been one of my favorites. Thanks for posting such a clear and concise recipe.

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  18. 18

    Stacey Snacks — October 15, 2008 @ 6:15 pm

    I am lazy.
    Instead of the jalapeno, I buy a can of fire roasted tomatoes, with the chili in it already!
    I love this soup!
    Stacey

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  19. 19

    Queen B. — October 15, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this !
    I’m a HUGE INA FAN ! I have all her cookbooks, and watch and re-watch all her shows ! I will try this for sure !!

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  20. 20

    noble pig — October 15, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

    So absolutely yum-o. I love tortilla soup and the color on this one is just awesome!

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  21. 21

    Jan — October 15, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

    I got one of Ina Garten’s books for my birthday (your recommendation, and thank you), she has some really good looking recipes in there.

    I love this soup, it looks absolutely fab. You certainly do serve up some treats for your dinner guests.

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  22. 22

    Bridgett — October 15, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

    We love this soup in our house as well and it is always a hit when served for guests. I am happy to hear you had great luck with it as well. It sure does look delicious and now I am craving it once again!

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