Chicken Tortilla Soup

photo 3-179

A lot of soups are quick to make; within a half hour or so you can have a steaming bowlful of soup goodness on the table. This is not one of those quick soups. Making this soup entails several steps– from baking the chicken to the two lengthy simmers of the broth, this soup takes both time and planning before it can be brought to the table. But trust me when I say that all of the effort is worth it. Yes, it is really that good.

The recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman but I have made a few minor changes including reducing the amount of servings that the soup makes to better fit the size of my family, their appetites, and yes, my small refrigerator. (Leftovers are great but there has to be room on those tiny European sized shelves to store them). I increased the amount of bell peppers from the original recipe since my usually vegetable adverse little boy loves peppers. And because we like things spicy in my house, I added an additional tablespoon of chili powder to the spice mix. So plan ahead and make this soup; serve it up with a side of corn bread and dinner is served.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup red onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 cups hot water

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons cornmeal

2 corn tortillas, cut into uniform 2 to 3 inch strips

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Drizzle one tablespoon of the olive oil over the chicken breasts and sprinkle a small amount of the spice mix over both sides of the chicken. Reserve the remaining spice mix for later.
  • Place the chicken breasts on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is done.
  • Allow the chicken to cool slightly then shred using two forks.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat.
  • Add onions, red and yellow peppers and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix.
  • Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
  • Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
  • Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasonings.
  • Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.

Serves 6-8



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