REAL Chicken Tortilla Soup

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When the temperature begins to fall and the nose begins to run, I crave the comforting heat of SOUP!  I love how the bowl or mug warms my hands as the steam wafts to my nose.  YUM!

That being said, I have a gripe.  I can’t find REAL Chicken Tortilla Soup here.  Lordy, I’ve tried!  Some restaurants add rice (and no tortillas).  Others cram it full of vegetables so its more like chicken vegetable soup with a little cumin.  Oh, no no no!!  If you want REAL Chicken Tortilla Soup, you have to go to Jaliscos in Idaho Falls, ID or make it yourself.  Since I’m about a 5 hour drive from Idaho Falls now, I made it myself!  So there, inferior Mexican Restaurants! 

REAL Chicken Tortilla Soup

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated The Best Chicken Recipes

  • 2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 lbs) trimmed of excess fat
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large white onion, trimmed of root end, quartered and peeled
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno chile (seeded)
  • 1 chipotle chile en adobo, plus 1 tsp adobo sauce
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil


  • Crumbled tortilla chips or tortilla strips
  • diced avocado
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or cotija cheese
  • minced jalapeno pepper
  • sour cream
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering.  Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Add chicken and brown, about 5 to 8 minutes per side.  Set aside.
  2. Add broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, cilantro sprigs, oregano, cumin, and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil over medium high heat.  Add chicken.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes.  Transfer chicken to a plate.  Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer; discard solids in strainer.  When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Discard bones and skin.
  3. Puree tomatoes, 2 remaining onion quarters, 2 remaining garlic cloves, jalapeno, chipotle chile, and adobo sauce in a food processor until smooth.
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in the dutch oven; add tomato mixture and 1/8 tsp salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture darkens in color and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Stir strained broth into tomato mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend the flavors, about 15 minutes.  Taste soup– if it needs more heat, add more adobo sauce.  Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  6. To serve, place about 4 crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl.  Ladle soup into the bowls.  Pass garnishes separately.

Makes 6 servings (about 1-1/2 cups soup plus garnishes)


One response to “REAL Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. Pingback: Chicken Taco Soup | Josie Cooks!

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