Another Easy Meal – Tortilla Soup

We really fell in love with Tortilla Soup after our trip to Santa Fe in June, 2006. We decided to make it at home and, with an adaption of 4 or 5 recipes blended into one, we’ve come up with our version of this spicy, warming soup. It’s pretty healthy and hearty too. We add extra stuff to give it a bit more body than it is traditionally. I like adding some of the topping garnish on the bottom because they go a bit soft and make for an interesting texture combined with the crisp toppings you put at the end. Also, this soup takes no time at all. From start to finish, there’s no reason it should not be done in 45 minutes.


  • 1 hot pepper (cayanne, scotch bonnet, jalapeno, etc.), thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 onion, thinly diced
  • 1 teaspoon of chipotle seasoning powder
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cans of spanish tomato sauce (I prefer Goya’s brand)
  • 1 large piece of skinless, boneless chicken, boiled in hot water for 10 minutes, cooled and then shredded
  • big palm-full of cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 sliced scallion
  • 4 corn tortillas (can use flour), thinly sliced into strips and deep fried for 2-3 minutes till golden brown ***NOTE: You can cheat and buy a good brand of tortilla chips if you really have to
  • GARNISH: extra cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, diced avocado, sliced green olives (optional), some shredded cheese (I prefer Mexican cotija if you can get your hands on it).

What to do:
+ + =

  1. Boil some water (or use chicken stock) and boil your large piece of skinless, boneless chicken until cooked – about 10 minutes (depends on thickness). Cut in half to check if it’s done. If it’s not, throw it in the boiling water/stock for a few more minutes. Take out to cool.
  2. Heat up your chicken stock or if using the same chicken stock your boneless chicken cooked in, make sure it stays warm (and that you have enough!).
  3. Heat up a big soup pot to medium and heat up some olive oil. Add your garlic and onion and cook till medium-soft. Add your diced hot pepper and allow to heat for another minute or two to soften a bit.
  4. Add your teaspoon of chipotle seasoning powder to the onions, garlic and hot peppers and stir around for a few seconds, releasing the flavor.
  5. Add your chicken stock and stir.
  6. Add your Spicy Spanish Tomato Sauce cans and stir.
  7. Squeeze a bit of lime in the mixture, throw the palmful of cilantro in and allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  8. **OPTIONAL STEPFeel free to use some store-bought tortilla chips if you really dont’ have the time/means to make homemade ones, but you know how I feel about it! It tastes better w/ the homemade kind.*** Meanwhile, heat up some veggie oil in another pot. Using corn or flour tortillas (I prefer corn for this), thinly slice up some up so that each long slice is about 1/2 and inch wide. As soon as the veggie oil is hot, throw in your slices and fry till golden brown. When done, remove with slotted spoon and allow to drain on some paper towels. Sprinkle with some salt and a small bit more of the chipotle powder.
  9. Now that the chicken is cooled, shred the piece into many bits for the soup.
  10. Assemble your bowls by adding some of the topping ingredients in the BOTTOM of the bowl. Add some (only a bit!) tortilla strips to the bottom, enough shredded chicken to satisfy, a small dollop of sour cream, some cilantro, a bit of diced avocado, scallions, optional sliced green olives and cheese.
  11. Spoon some of the reduced soup into your bowl over the toppings.
  12. Add one more squeeze of lime to each bowl and then your final garnishes on top (more tortilla strips, scallions, bit of cheese, cilantro, avocado and another dollop of sour cream). Enjoy this comforting bowl of hearty, spicy soup!


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