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Looking for a soup recipe that’s sure to fill you up? Look no further than my chicken tortilla soup! Also called sopa Azteca, it’s made with tender chicken, a savory broth with spicy dried chilis, beans, and corn and is topped with crispy tortilla chips!
I was once naive enough to assume that soup wasn’t filling. Oh, how wrong I was! Between this recipe for my Pozole Rojo, Italian meatball soup, sausage and lentil soup, and Crockpot ham and bean soup, it’s clear that there are plenty of hearty soup options out there.
Today’s recipe is no different. I’ve been a huge fan of chicken tortilla soup for a while now — also called sopa Azteca, it originated in Central Mexico. The broth is rich and just a little bit spicy thanks to the addition of chilis. I add canned corn and beans (so easy) to the mix to bulk it up even more.
Served with crispy tortilla chips, avocado, and jalapeños on top, the combination of textures and flavors is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.
Curious yet? I thought so! Make this chicken tortilla soup recipe tonight and prepare to be blown away!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Chicken – I use rotisserie chicken from the supermarket (or Costco) for my sopa Azteca. You can also use chicken breast (fresh or thawed). Simply chop into 1-inch pieces, then add it to the soup as instructed, but cook for 10 minutes instead of 5.
- Dried Chili – Use 1 ancho or pasilla chili. Both are mild — pasillas are just slightly hotter than anchos.
- Diced Tomatoes – Feel free to use fresh tomatoes, but I typically use canned to save on time.
- Garlic – For more savory flavor.
- Yellow Onion – All good broths start with sautéed onion!
- Vegetable Oil – To sauté the onion.
- Chicken Stock – You can also use vegetable stock. Water will work in a pinch, but your broth won’t be as flavorful.
- Salt – To taste.
- Mexican Oregano – This variety of oregano features more of a citrus flavor than Italian oregano.
- Canned Corn – Use canned corn as a timesaving shortcut.
- Canned Beans – You can use white or black beans here. I usually just use whatever I have on hand.
- Corn Tortillas – It wouldn’t be chicken tortilla soup without corn tortillas! You’ll crisp them up in a frying pan.
- Toppings – I like adding avocado, fresh cilantro, roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), lime slices, and jalapeños. A dollop of sour cream is also yummy.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
1. Prepare the Chicken. Using a fork, shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.
2. Create a Chili Purée. Place the dried chili in a skillet over medium-high heat and toast for 30 seconds, being sure to stir often, until the chili becomes pliable. Discard the stem and seeds and tear the chili into pieces. Add the chili, tomatoes, and garlic to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Set it aside.
3. Make the Broth. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a Dutch oven and sauté the onion for 5-8 minutes or until golden. Pour in the tomato and chili mixture and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Incorporate the chicken stock and season with salt and oregano. Reduce the heat and cook for 15 more minutes.
4. Prepare the Tortilla Strips. Stack the corn tortillas, then cut the stack in half. Turn each half 90 degrees and cut into ½-inch strips. Set aside.
5. Incorporate the Other Ingredients. Add the chicken, corn, and beans to the soup and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, then cover and keep warm.
6. Crisp the Tortilla Strips. Add ¼ cup of oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high. Add the corn tortilla strips and fry until golden or about 2-3 minutes. You can drain them on a paper towel-lined plate.
7. Garnish & Serve. Serve your sopa Azteca in bowls and top with the crispy tortilla strips and your garnish of choice.
How Can I Thicken Chicken Tortilla Soup?
You can add more beans (mashed), you can create a roux, or a slurry made from cornstarch and water. Play around with the quantities until you get the consistency you’re after!
How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup Less Spicy?
I personally don’t find my sopa Azteca too spicy — the chilis used are quite mild. We’re talking flavor here, not heat. But, everyone has different reactions to spices so it could be considered too hot for some. You can counteract the chilis by adding a splash of dairy (cream or milk), or you could simply ditch the chilis altogether.
What’s the Difference Between Taco Soup and Tortilla Soup?
Taco soup tends to be heavier than chicken tortilla soup, mostly due to the addition of red meat and extra beans. Chicken tortilla soup is much lighter.
Sopa de Tortilla (Tortilla Soup)
- Shred cooked chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.
- Toast the chili in a skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds, turning often. Chili should be pliable. Discard stem and seeds and tear into pieces. Transfer the chili pieces, tomatoes and garlic to a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
- In a dutch oven add the tablespoon of oil and saute the onion for 5-8 minutes until golden. Pour in the tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add the chicken stock and season with salt and oregano. Reduce heat and cook 15 minutes.
- Stack the corn tortillas and cut in half. Turn each half 90 degrees and cut into half-inch strips.
- Add the chicken, corn and beans to the soup, stirring through and continue cooking, 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
- In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat and fry the corn tortilla strips until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towel lined plate.
- Serve soup in bowls and top with divided crispy tortillas strips, avocado, cilantro, pepitas and jalapenos with a squeeze lime juice.
- I use rotisserie chicken breast meat and shred into bite size pieces. You can use fresh chicken and dice into 1-inch pieces, then add to soup as instructed in Step 5, but cook for 10 minutes.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.