Chicken Tortilla Soup

My First Attempt at Chicken Tortilla Soup: A Rousing Success

A few weeks ago (probably about 3 or so by now), I noticed I had a lot of semi-related things in the fridge to make for my “Batch Cooking Sunday”. Not quite sure what to do, I decided that I was going to at least boil some fresh chicken breasts in the fridge to make shredded chicken. Well, that got me thinking about trying my hand at soup…chicken tortilla soup to be exact! I searched far and wide on the internet for some base recipes to work with and couldn’t find any that quite fit the bill for me…so, I took matters into my own hands (which can be good or bad…)! We didn’t have any fresh tomatoes, so I decided to try a chili base to my soup…which ended up being a great choice!

I find soups to be a good way to use up half-used ingredients in the fridge from dinners past (much like casseroles/lasagnas/bakes). If you follow my blog, you know I’m all into batch cooking by making casseroles (see calabacita con pollo casserole, chicken pesto lasagna, vegetarian baked pene, etc.), but decided to try something different this time, soup seemed to fit the bill this day. Unfortunately, with the onset of Houston summer in full force now (next few days flirting with record temps, 97F air temp w/heat index of 105-110F), I don’t think I’ll be making it again until fall rolls around. :-(

Hopefully someone in the intertubes can make use of my newly developed recipe that lives in a more reasonable climate ;-) Maybe even someone from the Southern Hemisphere that is gearing up for winter time…

Anywho…on to the recipe…

Corn tortilla strips:

  • You can either make your own (Maseca flour prepared per instruction on flour bag), mine were hand made, no tortilla press here! (though I now know why they were invented…)
  • Or buy yellow or white corn tortillas

Easy peasy instructions here…

Take the finished tortillas and cut them into strips…(~1/2″ to 1/4″ strips are best). Bake in the oven at 350F until golden brown on top and slightly curling up on the edges.

Okay…now that the “Tortilla” part of our Chicken Tortilla Soup is accounted for…now the fun stuff…the soup!

Chicken Tortilla soup is a brothy soup, so don’t expect it to be thick and creamy, if it is, it isn’t a traditional Chicken Tortilla Soup (not claiming that mine is particularly authentic, but I did honor the brothiness factor).


  • 2 dried chilis (anchos probably are best; see here how to prepare dried chilis)
  • ~4+ cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (start with ~4 cups and add more if too much boils off)
  • 2 small – medium zucchini, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small – medium yellow squash, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 diced poblano pepper
  • 1 diced jalapeno pepper
  • touch of olive oil (for lightly sauteing veggies)
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast (boiled and shredded is best way I’ve found)
  • salt and pepper (to taste, I left out)
  • avocado (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)
  • cheese (optional)

First you’ll want to prepare the chili sauce (which is very similar to a homemade enchilada sauce). Prepare the chilis by slicing down the side and removing the stem and seeds. Place into small saucepan and cover with ~1/4″ of water.

Bring to boil and then dial back to simmering. Let simmer for ~15-20 minutes or until chilis are very tender. Take pot off heat and let sit to cool down for as long as you can (don’t want this next step to burn you…literally).

Place chilis + water mixture into blender and liquify.

In a large pot, heat ~1-2 tsp of olive oil over medium heat. When warm, add onions. Wait a minute and then add peppers and garlic and saute for another minute. Finally add zucchini, squash and carrots. Saute the entire mixture until the onions are just beginning to become translucent.

Once the onions are starting to become translucent, add shredded chicken, chicken broth, and chili mixture. Bring soup to a simmer and let simmer for at least 15 minutes. If you are waiting on someone (like I was that Sunday…hubby was running late from work…again…) you can allow it to simmer for longer. Just be aware that the chicken broth will begin to evaporate and you may have to add more to get the desired tortilla soup consistency.

Garnish with tortilla strips, cilantro, sliced avocado and sour cream. You can also add cheese or other toppings if you wish, but we went with cilantro, avocado and sour cream…

This recipe made ~6 servings for us and reheated beautifully for lunches!

Nutrition (1/6 of batch, no fixins):

  • 170 cal
  • 6 g fat
  • 14 g carb
  • 3 g fiber
  • 13 g protein

Can’t wait until fall comes so I can make it once again!