Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
If you’ve searched far and wide for the Best Chicken Tortilla Soup out there, you can now rest easy knowing you’ve found it! I am so picky about this soup but this is, by far, my best chicken tortilla soup ever! There are a few canned ingredients in this version, but the more fresh ingredients you use the better the results…yummy!!
One of the biggest questions I run into when I serve this soup, is ‘How Do You Make The Tortilla Strips for Chicken Tortilla Soup?’. Easy! All it takes is a few corn tortillas. I stack three tortillas and cut them in half, then cut the halves into strips and pan fry them in just a few teaspoons of vegetable oil until they start to brown. Viola!
If you only have flour tortillas on hand, they’ll work too. Corn tortillas are my preference and I find that they have a better consistency for using in my tortilla soup. Depending on their size, you may need to cut the tortillas into thirds or quarters if you have large tortillas.
We topped our chicken tortilla soup with tortilla strips, cilantro, green onions, avocado, and shredded cheese (plus our daughter likes a small spoonful of sour cream). Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Last Updated: April 16th, 2018
Best Chicken Tortilla Soup...ever!
- 4 Tbsp olive oil (divided - 2 Tbsp & 2, 1 Tbsp portions - or vegetable oil)
- 4 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless - or 2 chicken breasts)
- 1 small white onion (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp garlic (minced)
- 4 medium tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 jalapeno (finely diced, seeds removed)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 3 Tbsp green chiles (finely diced, we use a portion of canned green chiles)
- 2 stalks green onion (chopped - reserve some for garnish, if desired)
- 1 10 oz bag sweet corn (frozen - canned or fresh can also be used)
- 1 15 oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cilantro (chopped, divided into 2 portions - 1/2 cup and 2-3 Tbsp depending on if you will use some as garnish)
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 6 cups chicken broth (1 1/2 32 oz cartons)
- 1 lime (fresh squeezed juice)
- 3 corn tortillas (cut in half, then sliced into strips)
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- shredded cheese (optional, garnish)
- avocado (optional, garnish)
- Preheat a large stock pot and the first portion of olive oil (or vegetable oil) to medium high temperature. Sear both sides of the chicken thighs (or breasts) until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add second portion of olive oil (or vegetable oil) and cook onion for about 1 minute before adding the minced garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until turning translucent. Add tomatoes, jalapeno, and green onion. Stir to combine and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add corn, black beans, and the first portion of cilantro. Stir to combine. Then add the seasoning (chili powder, cumin, oregano). Stir, then add the chicken broth. Return the chicken thighs to the stock pot, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the soup, and shred the pieces using a couple of forks. *Taste the soup after cooking with the chicken and add salt & pepper as needed (to taste).
- Add the second portion of cilantro, fresh squeezed lime, and return the shredded chicken to the soup. Stir to combine and turn the heat off of the soup of while you pan fry the tortilla strips.
- Serve the chicken tortilla soup with fried tortilla strips and optional garnish. We used cilantro and green onion reserved from cooking the soup, plus avocado and shredded cheese.
Cooking Your Tortilla Strips
- In a medium frying pan or skillet, heat the third 1 Tbsp portion of olive oil (or vegetable oil) to medium high heat. Add the cut tortilla strips and brown slightly, turning frequently, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the frying pan once browned and getting crispy. Place on a paper towel lined plate.