Savor the coziness of our velvety chicken tortilla soup. A flavorful medley of crispy tortilla strips, spices, and soft chicken. Ideal for comfortable evenings!
Craving a bowl of pure comfort? Look no further! Our creamy chicken tortilla soup is here to warm your soul and tantalize your taste buds. Packed with flavorful ingredients, this simple yet delicious recipe is a go-to for cozy nights or whenever you need a hearty, satisfying meal.
First things first – let’s talk about the star of the show: tender, shredded chicken. It forms the heart of this soup, bringing a savory richness that’s both comforting and fulfilling. Combined with a medley of aromatic spices like cumin, chili powder, and a hint of paprika, the flavors dance together in perfect harmony.
But that’s not all – we’ve added black beans, diced tomatoes, and green chilies to the mix, creating a robust base that’s as wholesome as it is tasty. The interplay of textures and tastes will keep you coming back for more. And to take it up a notch, we introduce a secret weapon: creamy goodness. Heavy cream gives the soup a luxurious and velvety touch, elevating every spoonful to a level of pure indulgence.
As you dive into each bowl, don’t forget the finishing touches. A sprinkle of shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese adds a delightful cheesy kick, while fresh cilantro and crispy tortilla strips provide that perfect crunch and freshness.
Table of Contents
Reasons to love Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Comfort in a Bowl: Chicken tortilla soup is the epitome of comfort food. Its warm, savory broth, filled with tender shreds of chicken and flavorful spices, provides a sense of coziness that’s perfect for lifting your spirits on a chilly day or whenever you need a pick-me-up.
- Versatility at its Best: One of the great things about chicken tortilla soup is its versatility. You can customize it to suit your taste preferences – add more spice, extra veggies, or experiment with different toppings. Whether you enjoy it mild or with a kick, this soup adapts to your culinary whims.
- Texture Explosion: The combination of ingredients in chicken tortilla soup creates a delightful texture explosion. From the melt-in-your-mouth chicken to the hearty black beans, the crunch of tortilla strips, and the gooey goodness of melted cheese, every spoonful is a symphony of textures that keeps your taste buds engaged.
- Easy and Quick to Make: Busy schedules rejoice! Chicken tortilla soup is not only delicious but also a breeze to make. With simple ingredients and straightforward steps, it’s a go-to recipe for those days when you crave a homemade meal without spending hours in the kitchen. It’s a win-win for your taste buds and your schedule.
- Perfect for Sharing: Whether you’re hosting a casual get-together or a family dinner, chicken tortilla soup is a crowd-pleaser. Set up a toppings bar with cheese, cilantro, and tortilla strips, and let everyone customize their bowl. It fosters a communal dining experience that adds to the joy of enjoying a fantastic meal together.
- A Burst of Freshness: The addition of fresh toppings like cilantro and lime not only enhances the flavor but also brings a burst of freshness to the soup. It’s a perfect balance to the rich and hearty elements, making each spoonful a delightful journey for your palate.
Ingredients needed to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: Tender and juicy, the chicken breast serves as the protein base, adding a satisfying and hearty element to the soup.
- Olive Oil: Used for sautéing onions and garlic, olive oil infuses a rich and flavorful undertone to the soup.
- Onion: Diced and sautéed, the onion brings a sweet and aromatic quality, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the soup.
- Garlic: Minced garlic adds a robust and savory taste, providing depth to the soup’s aroma.
- Ground Cumin: A warm and earthy spice, ground cumin contributes to the soup’s distinctive Southwestern flavor.
- Chili Powder: For a hint of heat and a burst of color, chili powder complements the cumin, offering a balanced spice profile.
- Paprika: Adding a subtle smokiness, paprika enhances the overall complexity of flavors in the soup.
- Cayenne Pepper (Optional): For those who enjoy an extra kick, cayenne pepper brings a touch of heat to the soup.
- Salt and Pepper: Essential for seasoning, salt and pepper allow you to adjust the taste according to your preference.
- Black Beans: Drained and rinsed, black beans provide a protein and fiber boost, contributing to the soup’s heartiness.
- Diced Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes add a bright and juicy element, balancing the richness of the broth.
- Diced Green Chilies: Offering a mild heat and subtle tanginess, diced green chilies enhance the Southwestern flair of the soup.
- Chicken Broth: The liquid base of the soup, chicken broth imparts a savory foundation, bringing all the flavors together.
- Frozen Corn Kernels: Sweet and crisp, frozen corn adds a burst of freshness and a pop of color to the soup.
- Heavy Cream: To achieve a luxurious and creamy texture, heavy cream is stirred in just before serving, elevating the soup to comfort food perfection.
- Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese: Shredded cheese adds a gooey and cheesy element, melting into the soup and enhancing its richness.
- Fresh Cilantro: Chopped cilantro serves as a vibrant and fresh garnish, providing a burst of herbal flavor.
- Tortilla Strips: Crispy tortilla strips add a delightful crunch, reminiscent of traditional tortilla soup, and serve as a classic topping.
How to make Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Cook and Shred Chicken: Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook in a pan or boil until fully cooked. Shred the chicken using forks and set aside.
- Sauté Onion and Garlic: In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté diced onion until translucent, then add minced garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes until fragrant.
- Spice it Up: Stir in ground cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes to enhance flavors.
- Build the Base: Add shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, diced green chilies, chicken broth, and frozen corn to the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Simmer and Blend Flavors: Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10–15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
- Add Creamy Goodness: Just before serving, stir in heavy cream for a luxurious and creamy texture. Heat through, but do not boil.
- Cheesy Finale: Stir in shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese until melted and well incorporated.
- Garnish and Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh cilantro and tortilla strips.
- Enjoy: Serve hot and enjoy your homemade creamy chicken tortilla soup!
- Vegetarian Twist:
- Replace chicken with plant-based protein like tofu or tempeh.
- Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- Add extra vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach.
- Spicy Delight:
- Increase the amount of chili powder or add hot sauce for an extra kick.
- Include diced jalapeños for more heat.
- Garnish with a drizzle of sriracha or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
- Tex-Mex Fiesta:
- Incorporate additional Tex-Mex flavors by adding a teaspoon of taco seasoning.
- Include a can of corn with diced red and green bell peppers.
- Creamy Avocado Bliss:
- Top each serving with sliced avocado for a creamy and fresh touch.
- Mash avocado and blend it into the soup for a velvety consistency.
- Healthy Greens:
- Stir in a handful of kale, spinach, or Swiss chard for added nutrition.
- Add a squeeze of lime juice for a burst of citrusy freshness.
- Grilled Goodness:
- Grill the chicken before shredding for a smoky flavor.
- Char corn on the grill for a delightful smokiness.
- Protein Powerhouse:
- Mix in cooked quinoa or brown rice for an extra protein boost and heartiness.
- Slow Cooker Magic:
- Throw all ingredients into a slow cooker and let it simmer for a few hours for a convenient and flavorful result.
- Seafood Sensation:
- Replace chicken with cooked shrimp or a seafood medley for a seafood tortilla soup.
- Use fish or shrimp broth for a distinctive flavor.
- Crunchy Creations:
- Experiment with different types of tortilla strips, including flavored ones like chili lime or jalapeño.
- Crush tortilla chips over the soup just before serving for an extra crunch.
Tips and Suggestions
- Prep Ahead:Cook and shred the chicken in advance to streamline the cooking process. Chop vegetables and measure out spices beforehand for easy assembly.
- Use Homemade Broth: If possible, use homemade chicken broth for a richer and more flavorful base. Alternatively, choose a high-quality store-bought broth.
- Play with Spice Levels: Adjust the spice levels to your liking. Start with less spice and add more gradually, tasting as you go.
- Fresh Ingredients Matter: Opt for fresh cilantro and lime for garnish. The brightness they add enhances the overall flavor.
- Customize Toppings: Set up a toppings bar with options like shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream, and extra cilantro.
- Consider adding a dollop of Greek yogurt for a tangy twist.
- Tortilla Strip Perfection: Fry or bake tortilla strips for an authentic touch, or use store-bought ones for convenience.
- Top the soup with freshly crushed tortilla chips for an extra crunch.
- Don’t Overcook the Vegetables: Be mindful not to overcook the vegetables. They should be tender but still have a slight bite.
- Freeze for Later: Chicken tortilla soup freezes well. Prepare a large batch and freeze in individual portions for quick and easy meals later.
- Double the Batch: Make a double batch and enjoy leftovers. The flavors often intensify, making it even more delicious the next day.
- Explore Different Proteins: Experiment with different proteins like turkey, shrimp, or a combination of meats for unique flavor profiles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I freeze chicken tortilla soup?
Yes, chicken tortilla soup freezes well. Store it in airtight containers or freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
What are the best toppings for chicken tortilla soup?
Popular toppings include shredded cheese, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, and crunchy tortilla strips or chips.
Can I use a slow cooker for this recipe?
Yes, you can! Simply combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
How do I make the tortilla strips crispy?
You can fry tortilla strips in hot oil until golden and crispy, or bake them in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 10-12 minutes.
Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 lb Skinless chicken breasts Cooked and shredded
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper Optional for an extra kick of heat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can Black beans Drained and rinsed
- 1 can diced tomatoes 15 oz
- 1 can diced green chilies 4 oz
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup Corn kernels Frozen or canned
- 1 cup Heavy cream Or 1/3 cup of softened cream cheese
- 1 cup Monterey Jack shredded
- Fresh cilantro Chopped, for garnish
- Tortilla strips, for topping
- Avocado sliced
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook until fully cooked, then shred and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté diced onion until translucent, then add minced garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes.
- Stir in ground cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, diced green chilies, chicken broth, and frozen corn. Bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10–15 minutes.
- Just before serving, stir in heavy cream or cream cheese. Heat through but do not boil.
- Stir in shredded cheese until melted and well incorporated.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh cilantro and tortilla strips.
- Serve hot and savor the creamy goodness of your homemade chicken tortilla soup!