Chicken Tortilla Soup

IMG_6567I first made this soup the day after Thanksgiving to use up my turkey leftovers. It was an instant hit with my family so I knew I had to share it. The flavors of the spices, cilantro and bell peppers provided just enough heat and the addition of tortilla in the soup base created the perfect consistency. When making this soup, make sure to let the ingredients simmer for at least 30 minutes. This really helps the flavors marinate into each other. Also, I love spice, so if you can’t handle the heat, make sure to reduce the chili powder significantly. And, if you don’t have a hand blender, you can also use a regular blender…just be careful when blending up the hot liquid.

This is a perfect appetizer dish to serve at a holiday party. Keep it warm in a slow cooker on the warm setting and let guests serve themselves. This would even be great as an entrée with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side.


Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 6 generous portions


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
2 Tbsp vegetable oil + 1 Tbsp for chicken
1 small white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
¾ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp red chili powder
1 (28-oz) can Rotel diced tomatoes w/green chilis
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 (32-oz) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained


3 corn tortillas – see below for tip
sour cream
shredded cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375OF. Place chicken strips on baking sheet that is covered with foil. Drizzle oil over chicken and sprinkle with chili powder and salt (to taste). Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, flipping half way. Remove and cool.
  2. In a 6-qt pot, warm oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add cilantro, ½ of red bell peppers, yellow bell pepper, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Stir. Cook for 5-10 minutes until bell pepper is starting to get soft.
  3. Wash the top of the canned tomatoes. Open with can opener and add all contents (including juice) to the pot. Add chicken broth and corn tortillas. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Simmer for 10 minutes, until bell peppers and tomatoes are soft. Remove from heat.
  4. Carefully using a hand blend, blend all contents in the pot, removing all clumps. Return to stove, add the rest of the red bell pepper and simmer additional 10 minutes.
  5. Shred cooked chicken with two forks.
  6. Add black beans and chicken to pot to reheat chicken.
  7. For tortilla strip garnish: Preheat oven to 400OF.  Cut corn tortillas into thin strips. Toss in 1 Tbsp olive oil and place in oven for 10 minutes, turning occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
  8. Serve soup with tortilla strips, shredded cheese, cabbage, avocado, cilantro and a lime wedge.

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