Tortilla Soup can be a meal in itself, or served as an appetizer, either way, it’s filling, delicious and quite comforting on a cold day!
Tortilla soup is a staple menu item in the southwest and you’ll often find it as the soup du jour at many restaurants from El Paso to Denton, Texas. Some versions are tomato based, but this recipe is chicken based.
The beauty of this recipe is in it’s flavoring…it has complex flavors, but nothing too “over-the-top” and, you can make it as mild or spicy as you like!
What Type of Chicken Should I Use for Tortilla Soup?
I like to use a combination of white and dark. I usually use one large chicken breast and about eight skinless thighs.
How Do I Cook the Chicken?
There are three ways to cook the chicken. Bake, boil, saute. To bake the chicken, season it, place in in the baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350ºF until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. If you want to boil the chicken, just place it in water that has been salted (I’d had the other seasonings to the water, too), then cook till it has reached the safe temperature. Sauteing the chicken on the stove top is the fastest method: Cut the chicken breast into small pieces and place in a bit of oil. As for the chicken thighs, place them in the oil and allow them to cook to the safe temperature, then shred, or pull the meat off the bone.
How Can I Make this Dish More Spicy?
There are a few ways to spice-up this dish. You can add more chile powder or, add fresh jalapenos. Another option is to add a pepper sauce (like Tabasco), or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Of course, you could always add really hot peppers to this dish (think Habanero peppers) or a spicy meat like chorizo.
How Can I Make this Vegan?
A vegan version might use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and obviously no meat. You could add jackfruit as a substitute for chicken. Another idea is to add mushrooms, beans, corn or carrots. Once you’ve got the broth the way you like it, you can add anything you want!
Can I Substitute Flour Tortillas for the Corn Tortillas?
No. Corn tortillas are made from Masa flour and have a unique flavor and texture. Flour tortillas are made of plain white flour and do not have the flavor or texture for this recipe.
The flavors of the Southwest in one bowl! Savory chicken nestled in a aromatic blend of broth, cilantro and cumin.
- 2 lbs. chicken see recipe notes
- 48 oz. chicken broth
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes (buy 2 boxes of chicken stock/broth)
- 1 small can diced green chiles
- 1 pkg. corn tortillas see recipe notes
- 1 pkg. Sazon Goya Seasoning see recipe notes
- 1 can black beans drained (optional)
- 1 can sweet yellow corn drained (optional)
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 avocados sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin divided, see recipe notes
- 2 tablespoons chile powder see recipe notes
- 1 tablespoon oil
There are a couple of ways to cook the chicken-bake, saute or boil.
If you want shredded chicken in your soup, bake it. If you want cubed chicken in your soup, saute it on the stove. I don't recommend boiling the chicken because it gets watered down and rubbery:(
Bake the chicken: season lightly with salt, pepper, cumin and chile powder; place in a lightly oiled baking dish, covered, and bake until the chicken is at 165ºF internal - OR-
Saute the chicken on the stove: cut the raw chicken into cubes, place cubes in a big bowl, add seasonings, toss, and add to hot skillet
Set cooked chicken aside
Add oil to stockpot on medium heat; add onions and cook till tender
Add Rotel tomatoes, green chiles, and half of the chicken broth
Take three tortillas and tear them into small pieces; add them to the stockpot and bring up the heat till they dissolve
Add cooked chicken to the stockpot
If you have the Sazon Goya seasoning, add half a packet ; stir it in, reduce heat, cover and let the soup cook for about 10 minutes; taste for seasonings; you may want to add more cumin, chile powder, or the other half of the package of Sazon Goya seasoning
If you don't have the Sazon Goya seasoning, add 1 tablespoon of ground coriander to the soup and an additional 3 torn corn tortillas; let it cook till the tortillas are dissolved, then taste. If you like it, move on. If you don't, add more coriander, salt, etc.
If you want it spicier, add more chile powder; If you want it saltier, add more salt
If you don't have Sazon Goya seasoning, add one more tortilla (torn into pieces); cover and allow to simmer
Black Beans: if you want to add black beans, drain a can and rinse them; add them about 10 minutes before serving; always taste and adjust seasonings after you add anything to the soup
Sweet Corn: if you want to add sweet corn, drain a can and rinse; add the corn about 10 minutes before serving; always taste and adjust seasonings after you add anything to the soup
Slice avocado; chop cilantro; plate and garnish
While your soup is simmering, put 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high heat
Take four tortillas and cut them into fine strips; place tortilla strips into hot oil; remove and place on paper towel; garnish soup with fried tortilla strips
- I like to use a combination of white and dark meat; I usually us one large chicken breast and 6-8 chicken thighs (skinless)
- If you use chicken thighs, you may have to pull the meat off the bone...just sayin...
- Corn tortillas: you'll put 3 tortillas into the soup; reserve the remainder for frying tortilla crisps (optional)
- Ground Cumin: you'll sprinkle a little on the chicken and put the rest into the soup; feel free to adjust the amount according to your preference
- Chile Powder: sprinkle a little on the chicken and put the rest into the soup; start out light, add more if you want it a bit more spicy
- If you add beans or corn, you may have to add more broth