Tortilla Soup with Chicken

Lately, I’ve really been in to making our house smell lived in.

And by a “lived in” smell, I definitely do not mean the aroma of a seventy-two pound black lab or a laundry basket of overflowing with dirty gym socks.

The lived in smell I’m talking about is the warm and welcoming aroma of something downright delicious simmering away on the stove – a delightful smell that immediately greets you when you trudge through the door at the end of a long day of school or work.

A smell that makes you happy you’ve got a momma who’s overly-consumed with her culinary addiction psychosis hobby.

For instance, a big ol’ pot of tortilla soup.  Tortilla soup after all, is fluent in the language of YUM.  And its favorite phrase is “Welcome home!”

We enjoyed this soup with my favorite roasted vegetable quesadillas.  Also, just thinking ahead to next weekend; this soup would be a great way to use up any extra scraps of Thanksgiving turkey!  Just a thought … always thinkin’!


Serves:  6-8

Source:; Recipe #85800

  • 3 T. vegetable oil*
  • 8 corn tortillas, diced small
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ c. chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 – 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (Red Gold brand is on sale this week)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups chicken broth* (Swanson’s canned broth is on sale this week)
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper
  • 4 cooked chicken breast halves, shredded or chopped


  • shredded cheese
  • diced avocadoes
  • sour cream
  • 2 corn tortillas, sliced thin and fried crisp (optional)*

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the tortillas, garlic, half of the cilantro, and onion, cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil.  Add the cumin, chili powder, bay leaf, and chicken broth, and return to a boil.  Reduce heat; add salt and cayenne and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and stir in the cooked chicken and remaining cilantro; continue to simmer until chicken is warmed through.

Ladle soup into heated serving bowls.  Garnish with shredded cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, and tortilla strips.

*NOTES:  The original recipe calls for 6 tablespoons of oil, but since I’m a health nut and all (laughs out loud, slaps knee), I cut this in half.  Feel free to use the full amount if you’re the indulgent type.  I’ll never judge.

*Also, if you’re going to make the soup earlier in the day, count on it thickening up a little bit, thanks to the starch in the corn tortillas.  I needed to add a bit more chicken broth at the end to thin it out for serving.

*And finally, while the fried tortilla strips are not at all difficult to make, you might not want to futz with them.  I’ve served this soup with a big handful of crunched up Tostitos and my family has been none the wiser!

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | November 17th, 2009