Chicken Tortilla Soup
This soup is comforting, has a little spicy kick, and is so flavorful. It's something I make for clients often and is always a crowd-pleaser. I especially love it with all the toppings. You can add avocado, sour cream or plain greek yogurt, a squeeze of lime with fresh cilantro, pickled or fresh jalapenos, cotija cheese, or any kind of queso you like. Plus of course, we can't forget the fried corn tortilla strips. But if you're feeling like taking a shortcut, just crush up some corn tortilla chips to put on top which I often do in a rush at a clients house, (my favorite is the chicas brand).
Growing up in England, I didn't experience good Mexican food until I moved to California. But once I had it, I made it my mission to learn how to make it properly and pack it with flavor. And while this soup might seem like there are a lot of ingredients, it's mainly a lot of pantry staples and spices you likely have already.
You can store your soup in the fridge for 3-4 days without the toppings. Or you can freeze it in an airtight Tupperware for up to 3 months.
So here is my version of chicken tortilla soup. It might not be the most traditional but it's definitely made with a lot of love.
1 whole yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 jalapeno, finely diced and de-seeded (unless you like it extra spicy)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional for a smokier spice)
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp butter (optional)
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 corn on the cob
1 can of black beans
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1.5 quarts of chicken broth
2-3 chicken breasts (depending on size)
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
1/2 a lime squeeze
2 tbsp Cholula hot sauce
6 small corn tortillas, finely sliced
Jalapeno (pickled or regular)
Sour cream or greek yogurt
Cheese of choice
Start by grilling your corn on the grill or in your oven on the broiler setting until charred and golden on each side. About 5 minutes per side. This adds to the flavor of the soup
In a deep dutch oven, saute your onion and garlic with the diced jalapeno in the avocado oil with the option of adding butter here to add flavor if you aren't dairy free.
Once translucent, add in your spices, (cumin, cayenne, etc) and toast for a minute before adding in your can of fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, and chicken broth.
Now slice your corn off the cob and add the roasted kernels into your soup to thicken and add extra depth of flavor.
Now add in your chicken breasts whole and cook on medium-high for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken breasts from the soup and shred them.
The easiest way to shred chicken is in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Trust me, it takes seconds for the perfect texture.
Add the shredded chicken back into the soup.
You can leave it here or you can add in your heavy cream for extra favor and decadence.
Now add in your dashes of Cholula hot sauce and squeeze of lime. Add 2tbsp, more or less to your liking and level of spice tolerance.
You can let it cook for another 10 minutes or more while you chop and organize your toppings and fry your tortilla strips.
Slice your corn tortillas. In a cast iron skillet, heat plenty of avocado oil (which has a high smoking point).
Add in your tortilla strips and cook until golden and crispy whilst tossing. Don't walk away because it just takes a split second for these to burn or get too crispy.
Now lay them on a paper towel to drain and start serving!
Ladle the soup into your bowl. Add on your avocado, cheese, and other toppings of your choice along with the tortilla strips, and serve.
The coziest meal. A great family dinner. And the perfect fall soup.
God I love soup season!