Chicken Tortilla Soup

So my plan was to post one last cranberry or apple or apple-cranberry somethin’ before the month ended, but it just isn’t happening. I bet I can still post something in November and no one would hold it against me, right? I hope so. The truth is, tomorrow is Halloween and it’s supposed to snow here in good ol’ Ann Arbor, Michigan. Snow. Which means it’s going to be bloody cold outside.  (I hope that doesn’t count as a curse word. I’ve been reading too much Wheel of Time. I’m pretty sure I’m going to start saying “blood and bloody ashes” at some point when I finally finish…you know, one day.  Sorry, totally off the subject.) Anyway, chicken tortilla soup is one of those perfect comfort foods on a chilly evening. It has the perfect amount of spice to warm your body and it’s totally filling. The sweet, buttery avocado & sour cream adda nice coolness to the heat and the crunchy tortilla strips on top are a must! Another awesome thing about this soup is that it’s perfect to double up on so that you can eat one or two nights in a row and then freeze it for later. So even though I took these pictures last week, we’ll be eating soup on Halloween after trick-or-treating in the freezing cold.

This recipe came from Guy Fieri who is truly a food genius. The recipes that I’ve made of his have quickly become family favorites. I usually tweak them a bit to make the recipe have less steps to make it easier on me, or to add a few more ingredients. My relationship with soup is kind of similar to my relationship with salad. More “stuff” less broth, more toppings, less lettuce. So naturally, in my recipe I had to add black beans and corn.  I skipped the grilling and instead dumped the entire marinade with the chicken into the soup pot to help add even more flavor. The chipotle, cumin, lime, chile powder, all work together to give the chicken a delicious kick.  Why wouldn’t we want all that yumminess in the soup too?

Every time I’ve made this soup for someone they’ve asked for the recipe. It truly is addicting.  My good friend Tarah wanted this recipe after her first bite. I made this for my sister and her husband after they came down the mountain from snowboarding and her husband said it was the best chicken tortilla soup he had ever had. Michael’s family approved when I made it for them. Am I talking this up too much? Probably. Is it worth making? Oh yeah. Over and over again.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Title


For chicken marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (don’t fret regular will work too šŸ™‚ )
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts cubed

For soup:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeƱo diced with half the seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, plus more for sprinkling on tortilla strips
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 cups chicken broth/stock (I’ve used Caldo de Pollo before when I didn’t have broth or stock)
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 frozen bag of corn
  • 2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • tortilla strips (garnish)- see Notes
  • 16 oz container sour cream (garnish)
  • avocados (garnish)
  • cilantro (garnish)
  • 16 oz shredded cheese (garnish)


  1. Put marinade ingredients in a food processor/blender and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade into a plastic bag and combine with cubed chicken pieces. Refrigerate until needed, anywhere from 1-8 hours. (I’m never that prepared, so I usually only have it marinating for an hour or less, but you could potentially do this step in the morning and have it marinate all day to be ready for dinner that night. Shheesh. Planners.)
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large cooking pot over medium heat. SautƩ onion for 5-7 minutes until carmelized. Add garlic, minced jalapeƱo, chili powder, & cumin. Cook about 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken and marinade and cook about five minutes. Chicken should nearly be cooked through, but it will continue cooking in the soup as well, so no worries.
  4. Add the chicken broth along with the fire roasted tomatoes, corn, & black beans.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes
  6. Garnish with your choice of toppings, although I would highly recommend all of them with an extra handful of cilantro!

Serves 8-10 or 4 over multiple nights šŸ™‚

IMG_3172Notes- You can buy pre-made tortilla strips, but it’s cheaper just to make your own. Buy regular corn tortillas and cut them in small strips. Heat up a frying pan with canola oil or vegetable oil. Fry the tortilla strips in small batches at a time keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove them with tongs and place them on a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Immediately sprinkle them with salt, chile powder, and a squirt of lime juice. Cover with more paper towels to get ready for the next batch and repeat. If there’s extra, I keep them in a ziplock bag with a paper towel and they stay crunchy so I can use them for leftovers the next day.


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