Chicken Tortilla Soup is on the menu with its tomato and chicken broth base. It starts with sautéing onions, green chilies, jalapeños and then adding lots of yummy spices. Something warm and comforting sounds delicious since it is snowing in Utah today.
Chicken Tortilla Soup is a staple in my house. I often buy two chickens at Costco and then make Roasted Chicken. After deboning the chicken I have three, quart size, plastic bags full of cooked and shredded chicken, the perfect ingredient to make Chicken Tortilla Soup. This is basically a pantry soup, for me, except for the green chilies and jalapeños. Once I purchase these two fresh items, I am ready to make one of my families favorite meals.
How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup
1. Dice the onion. I love using a food processor to dice my onions. Cut off the top and bottom of the onion and then cut it in half. Peel off all the brown outer layers and lay the onion flat side down. Now cut the half in chunks and put it in the food processor and pulse until it is sliced into small pieces. If you leave the onions in the food processor, too long, the onions will turn into a watery mush.
I rarely, if never dice my onions on a cutting board anymore. The food processor has become one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. When it comes to chopping onions or anything else, I think everyone needs a food processor.
2. Dice the green chili and jalapeño. Cut off the tops of the peppers and throw them away. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribs. Slice the peppers into small, thin strips and then cut across the strips to make small pieces. You can also add these to the onions in the food processor.
Using kitchen gloves or surgical gloves is the only way I can handle jalapeños. If I do not, the oils from the peppers stay on my hands, even after washing them extensively. Later in the day, my skin and eyes will start to sting if I touch them with my hands.
Using gloves is the only way I can dice jalapeños!
3. Grate the garlic clove on the small side of a box grater. Using a box grater or a small hand held grater to grate garlic is so easy. Chopping small cloves of garlic is hard in my opinion. Anything to make this task easier is what I say. The small pieces from the grater sauté easily and creates an even taste in any dish.
4. Place the butter in a large 8 quart dutch oven. Turn the heat on high and as the butter melts, add the onions, green chili, jalapeño and garlic. While these are sautéing in the butter, add the cumin, chili powder, and lemon pepper.
5. Once the vegetables are soft add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Open all the cans of tomatoes and add them to the vegetables. Stir to mix everything well.
Grating garlic on a box grater or small handheld grater is so efficient.
6. Pour the water and chicken and beef bouillon into the pan. The mixture of the chicken and beef bouillon give this dish a deep, luscious flavor.
Many of you know how much I do not like packaged chicken broth. I don’t like paying for a container of water with a little chicken flavoring in it. I can make chicken broth at home so easily by adding chicken bouillon to water from my tap. The other thing I love about making my own chicken broth is my water is already hot coming out of the tap. This means the liquids in my soup come to a boil faster.
A lot of people love the brand Better Than Bouillon. My preferred chicken bouillon is Knorr Granulated Chicken Bouillon. It is another way to get chicken broth in any soup or dish without having to pay for the water. I also like the compact and easy storage aspect of chicken bouillon. It takes up so little space in my pantry.
7. Add the Worcestershire sauce and simmer the soup ingredients for 20 minutes. Bring the soup to a boil and then put the lid on. Simmer means to keep everything boiling but at a much lower temperature. Many people turn the heat down, but do not check to make sure things are still boiling. You will not get the deep flavor if the liquid is not at a low boil.
Shredded chicken can come in many forms.
8. Shredded chicken is something I always have on hand. I cook two whole chickens about once every two weeks. You can read all about how I do this in my Roasted Chicken recipe. If you do not have any Roasted Chicken on hand, you can purchase cooked chicken at Costco or you can use canned chicken.
Another thing I like to do is place four chicken breasts in a sauce pan and put about 1/2 cup of water in the pan. Sprinkle on 1 Tablespoon of salt and bring the water to a boil. Place the lid on the pan and lower the temperature, but keep the water boiling.
The salt will season the chicken and make it tender while it is cooking. Chicken has a lot of water in it. As it cooks it will render and add more water to the bottom of the pan. Cook the chicken for 20 minutes with the lid on. Once done cooking, let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. At this point, take the chicken out and shred it with two forks. Place the chicken in the soup and let it simmer, with the lid on, while you get the toppings ready.
Did you know you can shred chicken in a bowl with a hand mixer? Put the cooked chicken in a bowl and the let the hand mixer do the shredding for you!
Homemade tortilla strips to garnish your soup.
9. Make tortilla strips to garnish the soup. Cut fresh corn tortillas into small strips with a pizza cutter. Place these in a small sauce pan with hot oil. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping in one strip of tortilla. If the oil bubbles around the strip and it floats to the top, your oil is hot enough. Cook tortillas strips until light and crispy. Drain on paper towels and crumble when cool. I love using coconut oil for this. It has such a wonderful flavor and cooks everything to a golden brown.
10. Dish the soup into a bowl and add grated cheese, sour cream, slices of avocado and cooked tortilla strips. I have a video on how to cut an avocado on my you tube channel. The best advise I can give, is do not hold the avocado half while placing a knife in the pit of the avocado. Place the avocado on the counter.
I double this recipe every time I make it. Everyone in my family loves it and one recipe is never enough.
Here are a few products I like to use when making Chicken Tortilla Soup.
When you purchase items from the Amazon links below, I receive a small commission.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 Anaheim/Green Chili
- 1 Jalapeño Pepper
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 lb. Cooked, Shredded Chicken
- 8 oz. Tomato Sauce
- 30 oz. Canned Diced/Crushed Tomatoes
- 4 Cups Water
- 2 Cubes Chicken Bouillon
- 2 Cubes Beef Bouillon
- 1 tsp. Cumin
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Lemon Pepper
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 Corn Tortillas
- 1 Cup Oil
- 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Avocado
- Dice onion, Anaheim and jalapeño chilies into small pieces.
- Grate garlic on the small side of a box grater.
- Sauté onions, chilies and garlic in butter in an 8 quart dutch oven.
- Add the spices to the vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix the water, bouillon cubes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and tomatoes in the pan.
- Simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
- Get shredded chicken ready and add to soup.
- Cut the corn tortillas into very small strips with a pizza cutter.
- Fry in oil and drain on paper towels.
- Grate cheddar cheese.
- Cut or cube avocado.
- Serve in a bowl with cheese, sour cream, avocado cubes and tortilla strips.