Chicken Tortilla Soup is simple and super easy meal to pull together whether you make it from scratch or save a step with rotisserie chicken.
Either way, just don’t skip the fresh toppings!
I love soup. I love the warmth on cold days, its simplicity as a meal, how easy it is to customize. It is no wonder that it was the staple, everyday meal for generations past—economical, nutritious, filling—you can find soup recipes for any region of the country or the world. Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my favorites; I liken it to having a burrito in a bowl.
As with any soup, starting with a base of homemade stock is ideal. Sometimes you have stock on hand and sometimes you don’t, so you end up using bouillon and broth as indicated in this recipe.
If you have the time, cook and shred the chicken in the morning and use the bones to make stock throughout the day, ready for soup that night.
Bring on the heat with extra chilies or tone it down with a little more sour cream and avocado on top. Every steaming bowl can be customized with toppings like your favorite salad bar, sure to please everyone at the table.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 4 pound whole chicken , cooked & shredded (or rotisserie chicken)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt , only if cooking fresh chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce , chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green chilies (mild)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid hickory smoke flavoring
- 1 cup salsa , optional (any favorite brand)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes , with juices
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 6 cups beef stock
- 3 cups of frozen corn , defrosted
- 3 (14 ounce) cans black beans , drained
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
- sour cream
- Monterey jack cheese
- diced tomato
- green onions
- sliced olives
- broken tortilla chips
- chopped cilantro
- Cut up chicken into 8-9 pieces. Place all parts of the chicken, including the back, in a large pot with 3-4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon sea salt. Boil chicken until just cooked through, 25-30 minutes. Remove chicken from the pot and allow to cool until easy to handle. Skim broth or strain to remove brownish foam and reserve the broth to make stock at a later time or freeze.
- While the chicken is cooling, sauté onion with oil in a large skillet until beginning to caramelize, add garlic, and cook until fragrant. Add spices, bay leaf, chilies in adobo, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon liquid smoke, 1 1/2 cups chopped green chilies, and 1 cup salsa; simmer to meld flavors. Add stewed tomatoes and simmer another 10 minutes.
- In a large pot, add chicken stock an half the beef stock with the vegetables from the skillet. Add the corn and beans; simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken and tortilla chips. Depending on the consistency, add more of the beef stock; simmer for 30 minutes to meld flavors. Salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve with broken tortilla chips with desired toppings.