a bowl of tortilla soup

Tortilla Soup


6-8 Servings







Preheat oven to 375°F


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces or shredded (optional)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ of 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh hot pepper, such as jalapeno or serrano, minced 
  • 2 medium zucchini, 1-inch half moons
  • 1 medium sweet pepper, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 ear corn, cut off the cob (or substitute ¾ cup frozen corn kernels)
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp chili powder, ground
  • 4 cups liquid such as: chicken broth, bean broth, water or a combination
  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped (use the juice too!)
  • 2 cups  cooked beans, such as black, pinto, or kidney
  • To taste salt
  • To taste pepper
  • 2 each limes, juiced
  • ½ cup canola oil, or other vegetable oil
  • 4-6 corn tortillas, cut into ½-inch strips
  • OPTIONS TO SERVE: lime wedges, sour cream, avocado, cilantro leaves and grated cheddar cheese

Make it:

  1. If using chicken, in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil followed by the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat if you need to and turn and cook the other side of the chicken thighs for about 2 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  2. In a large soup pot, turn the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Sauté the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions have softened and the garlic is browning.
  3. Turn the heat to medium and add the sweet pepper, zucchini, corn, and hot pepper, stirring occasionally (but not constantly) for 3 minutes, so they start to get soft. 
  4. Add the cumin and chili powder, stirring for 30 seconds to combine. 
  5. Shred the chicken (using two forks to pull it apart works great!) and add to the vegetable mixture in the pot.
  6. Next, add the water (or other preferred liquid), tomatoes, cooked beans, salt and black pepper. Turn the heat to high and stir to mix the ingredients. Cover the pot and stir often (every 30 seconds to 1 minute), making sure the spoon is touching the bottom of the pot and going into the corners. 
  7. When the soup comes to a boil, turn down to low and cover, stirring and checking on your soup every few minutes. Keep the soup simmering until vegetables soften, about 20-30 minutes. Just before serving, pour in the juice of two limes. 
  8. While the soup is cooking, cut corn tortillas into ½ inch strips and in a medium bowl toss with canola oil, salt, and black pepper until strips are coated evenly.
  9. Transfer to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Toss and return to the oven and continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until desired crispness is reached. Set side to cool.
  10. Serve soup with additional toppings of your choice and fried tortilla strips.
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