There’s nothing like a hearty bowl of soup in the winter months.

Not only are soups satisfying on a cold evening, the one-pot wonders usually make great left-overs for later in the week. Or soups go a long way when serving guests.

Enjoy my family’s version of a popular spicey favorite.

Chicken Tortilla Soup  


  • 1- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, finely diced (I use serrano which is a bit hotter)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • One 14.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • One 15-ounce can of corn
  • 1 can of cheddar cheese soup (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
  • One 8-inch flour tortilla, grilled, cut into thin strips (or bagged corn tortilla chips crumbled on top)


  • 1 avocado, pitted, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey cheese
  • Sour cream to taste
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.

Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken when cool. Set aside.

In a large saucepan heat the vegetable or olive oil. Add carrots and cook alone for 2 minutes. Add onion and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Once the vegetables have softened add the garlic and peppers and cook for another minute.

Pour the chicken broth, tomatoes, and beans into pot. Add shredded chicken, spice mixture and cooked vegetables. Stir in can of cheddar cheese soup until smooth.

Bring to a boil then simmer for 45 minutes.

Before serving, stir lime juice in pot.

Ladle soup into bowls over grilled tortilla strips (or just crumble corn tortilla chips over top with the other garnishes). Garnish with sour cream, diced cilantro, diced avocado, and grated cheese.

Print Recipe:Chicken Tortilla Soup

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