Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Excuse me while I go into total Oprah-voice-mode:


I know I’ve expressed my soup love before, but guess what: can’t stop, won’t stop. I mean, come on! It’s everything you need in one bowl!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

So let’s put on some funky socks, then some slippers, and get to stirring a pot full of hearty fall yumminess.

soup toppings

Chicken Tortilla Soup is an awesome way to kick off the season of simmering pots. Just look at all those toppings! Kind of reminds you of those tacos you were eating all summer, right? It’s familiar, yet new and exciting all at once.

chicken browning

It all starts with browning some chicken – skin-on! If you’re worried about fat don’t fret, it doesn’t go in the finished soup. (You should still devour it when you’re shredding the chicken up later, but I’ll try to keep my composure if you choose not to.) Nothing adds flavor like some good ol’ chicken skin. Mmmhm.


Next there is some veggie-sweating, spice-blooming, and one delicious smelling kitchen. The chicken finishes in the oven while the rest of the soup comes together! My favorite part though:

tortilla strips

Crisping up tortilla strips! I could fry up and subsequently eat an entire bag of tortillas without batting an eye or feeling an ounce of remorse. They’re just too good. The epitome of crunch!

Store-bought corn chips will work as well, but they can’t come close to the crunch factor of a freshly fried tortilla strip.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Once you’re done with all the soup stirring and eating half of the tortilla strips because you can’t help yourself, it’s assembly time! Ladle the soup into bowls and top with as much or as little of the suggested toppings as you’d like. Or come up with some of your own! It’s your soup! Live it up!


Chicken Tortilla Soup




  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded & chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded & chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded & minced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
  • 1 29-ounce can hominy, drained
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
  • Suggested garnishes: tortilla strips (see below), cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, minced red onion, lime wedges, sour cream, hot sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Warm a large pot for a few minutes over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and add it to the pot, skin side down. Brown the chicken well on both sides (a few minutes per side), then transfer to a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake the chicken until it registers 165 degrees internally, 25-30 min.
  2. In the same pot, combine the onion, poblanos, bell peppers, jalapeño, and garlic with a big pinch of salt. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Next, stir in the cumin, coriander, chili powder and oregano; continue stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot along with a huge pinch of salt. Stir well, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes or so. When the chicken is done and cool enough to handle, remove the skin, shred the meat and stir it into the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with the suggested garnishes at the table.


Crispy Tortilla Strips


  • Vegetable oil
  • Corn tortillas
  • Fine grain salt


  1. Heat a shallow layer of oil (about 1/2 inch) in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cut the tortillas into strips. To test if the oil is ready, put a little piece of tortilla in the pan. The oil should bubble up rapidly around it, cooking it to a golden brown in a minute or so.
  2. Crisp the tortillas in batches (don't overcrowd the pan), removing them with a slotted spoon or spider strainer when crispy and golden brown. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt before moving on to the next batch.


Posted in: Beans & Legumes, Chicken & Poultry, Fall, Gluten-Free, Mains, One-Pot Dish, Soups/Stews, Vegetables

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20 Responses to “Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. Dan Corkery says:

    I just LOVE good tortilla soup. There’s a lot of mediocre tortilla soup out there and this looks great, Brit! Possibly even better than mine and mine’s really good! Never thought to try sour cream in it. Magonna hafta make me up a batch o’ this! As always, thanks!!

  2. Oh my word… this soup looks like heaven.

  3. Mom says:

    I made this soup tonight for dinner and I have one word to describe it…fan-freakin-tastic…okay, so that’s not a real word, but you will be saying the same when you prepare this AMAZING soup! I even made the tortilla strips! Unbelievable!

  4. cindy says:

    I’m all about happy-soup-belly…that’s the feeling of satisfaction I call after eating soup! I’m with you on the freshly fried tortilla strips…I could eat them all!

  5. G’day and YUM! Wish I could try some of this now, true!
    Love your photos! Makes me want to make your recipe too!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Nancy’s YBR Oct Round Up

  6. YUM! Tortilla soup is the best! Beautiful photos too!

  7. zazacook says:

    Wow, your Chicken Tortilla Soup looks so delicious! Photos and presentation just fantastic! Bravo:)

  8. Jenni says:

    Any idea how/if this could be adapted for a crock pot? It sounds amazing!

    • brittany says:

      Why not! I would switch to bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, they won’t dry out as easily a breast would during the longer cook time.

      To make it super easy: put all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 3-4 hours (that’s my best guess at the cooking time).

      If you don’t mind dirtying an extra pan & have the time: brown the chicken thighs on both sides in a little oil first, remove them from the pan, then add all the spices to the same pan and let them warm for a minute in the oil. From there you could continue as you would above! The flavors should be much more developed this route.

      I’d love to know if you end up making it in the crock pot – I don’t break mine out enough! 🙂

  9. Beautiful photos! Everything is jumping off the screen

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  1. […] love most versions of Chicken Tortilla Soup and this one from Brittany is lookin’ real […]

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