Tortilla Soup

10-13-11 Dinner Blog

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup – Ya gotta love it!  So easy, so predictable, and so so tasty! Having made this earlier in the week, I just had to warm the soup and serve!

The days were getting more and more crazy.  I needed simplicity.  Serving soup out of a pot did the trick.

I cut and portioned an avocado across the four bowls, ladled soup in each bowl, sprinkled some cheese and tortilla strips and served! Ace!

Tortilla Soup - 4 Servings

The Verdict

An 11 rating across the board!  This soup is a winner!  The flavors mellow and the tortilla strips add great texture and crunch.  Ole!

Tortilla Soup Recipe

For 2 meals + lunches for 2 adults and 2 kids


10-12 Corn tortillas halved and thinly sliced

Canola or olive oil cooking spray

1 T Canola oil

3 Anaheim or poblano peppers diced

2 Peppers, red, yellow, or orange, diced

1 Onion, diced

2-3 t Ground cumin

2 1/2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can also use dark meat if you prefer)

8 C Low sodium chicken broth

1  – 14 oz Can diced tomatoes or other shelf stable container of diced tomatoes

1 – 14 oz Can diced tomatoes w chiles or buy a regular can of diced tomatoes and a 4 oz Can of chiles (I buy mild for the kids)

1 Bag of frozen corn

3 T Lime juice

1/2 C Cheddar cheese

1/4 C Cilantro, chopped

1 lime, sliced into wedges (optional but I usually include)

1 Ripe avocado (optional but yummy)

2 Very thinly sliced radishes (optional, but adds a great accent)

Salt as needed – wait until just before you serve to decide on if you should add any.  depending on the broth you use, you may not.  I always add a little bit and check.  Little bit and check.


1.  Preheat oven to 400.

2. Thinly slice tortillas and place in a lightly sprayed roasting pan. Lightly spray and salt  the tortilla strips and put them in the oven.

3. Dice the peppers and onions,  checking on the tortilla strips every 4-5 minutes stirring them around and pulling the strips apart so they can get crispy faster.  The tortilla strips will take about 12-15 minutes.

Important to note:  steps 2 and three can be done earlier in the day or even a day ahead of time.  If you do pre-prep, be sure to store the tortilla strips in an air tight container.

4. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat and add peppers and onions, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, 3-5 minutes.

5.  Add cumin and stir it in for one minute.  This allows the cumin to really soak in the peppers and onions. 95% of the work is done.

6. Add the tomatoes in their juices, broth, corn, and chicken.  Add the chicken breasts whole.  You will shred them once cooked.

7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 min until chicken cooks through.

8. Pull each chicken breast out, one at a time.  I put the chicken in the lid of the soup pot to minimize dirty dishes and clean up.

9. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken.  Hold the chicken steady with one fork and shred the meat with the other.  Do this for each chicken breast, returning the shredded chicken to the pot before taking another breast out.

10. Taste test the soup and check to see if it needs salt.  If so, add a small bit, stir and taste.  A small bit, stir and taste, until you are satisfied.

11.  Add the lime juice, stir, and serve, with cilantro, lime wedge, avocado, radishes (if you added these two items),and baked tortilla strips.

12. Tortilla soup anywhere else will never taste the same…

P.S. The jackpot is that the soup will taste even better the next night or the night after, when all the flavors have mellowed further. You can even make the entire recipe one or two days ahead and save yourself a lot of time on “cooking day”.

Tortilla Soup

10-11-11 Dinner Blog

Tortilla Soup

Tuesday Afternoon…

The pressure is on!  Tonight’s meal is Tortilla Soup – the benchmark of all benchmarks – the perfect 10 – actually the meal that gets an 11 out of 10!  Can I do it?!  I don’t know if I can take the pressure!

Basically by Monday evening around 8:30, I had the bulk of the meals prepared for the rest of the week!  Not bad!  Monday’s Chinese Chicken Salad was so easy to prepare and clean up, and knowing that on Tuesday I would be rolling in from carpools at about 6:45, I was going to have to have dinner ready beforehand.  So I pulled the Tortilla Soup together Monday night in about 15 minutes, letting it simmer for an additional 20 minutes.  Kids were doing homework – I was jostling my time between preparing the soup and helping my daughter on the computer with a project she is working on for school.  I also had one eye on my son to keep him focused on homework.  Tortilla Soup is a “super” easy preparation.  I washed the chicken, chopped the peppers, and put everything in the pot following the order in the recipe.  I brought the soup to a boil, simmered for 20 minutes, and stored it in the fridge. I also chopped the cilantro and radishes, storing them in the fridge so I wouldn’t have anything but the avocados to prepare at dinnertime.

Dinner Prep

It was 7:10 by the time I got home from carpool and made a second trip out to drop off shoes that were left in the back of my car. I preheated the oven to 450, put the soup pot on the stove and began slicing the corn tortillas into very thin strips.

Cutting Tortilla Strips for Tortilla Soup

I sprayed the bottom of two roasting pans and spread the tortilla strips out across the two pans. Then I sprayed a bit more canola oil, lightly sprinkle with salt and put in the oven, setting the timer for 5 minutes.

I got out the bowls and cut 2 avocados.  I pulled the cilantro, cheese and radishes out of the refrigerator.

Once the timer for the tortilla strips sounded, I pulled both pans out of the oven, mixed up the strips and put them back in the oven, switching racks and setting the timer for 5 more minutes.

At the 5 minute mark, I pulled the tortilla strips out of the oven and served the dinner!  First I put a bit of avocado in everyone’s bowl except for my son, who had his avocado on the side with a bit of salt.  Then I ladled the soup into each bowl, topping with cilantro, radish, and cheese.  The grand finale was a handful of baked tortilla strips on top.

3 Servings of Tortilla Soup Before Topping with Tortilla Strips

The Verdict:

It’s an 11!  Yes!  That is the nice thing about this recipe.  It is very repeatable.  My son and husband had 2 servings.  My daughter and I found one serving quite satisfying.  The kids requested Tortilla soup again tomorrow.  I had originally planned to serve it again on Thursday night, but who can turn down an 11 rating two nights in a row?!?