Easy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Easy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Tortilla soup has a number of variations, with no rules other than putting certain ingredients together that can be easily adapted to suit your own taste. My recipe for Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup was originally inspired by an Italian soup my husband made me years ago, which I make often today – Pasta Fagioli (Fazool). Fazool is usually meatless, however I love the flavor of this soup so much that I figured I could adapt it to my southwestern cravings.

Here, all we do is adjust some of the seasonings to adapt to the regional flare of the southwest by adding lots of wonderful ingredients. This soup is light in texture, but made more substantial by adding the shredded or chopped chicken.

The tortilla strips act as croutons in this soup, slowly soaking up the juices and sinking to the bottom if you let them. These can be slightly charred on the grill, in a skillet, on a cast iron flattop on the stove or shallow fried in a large skillet or deep fryer at 350 degrees F. until golden and crispy. These can be made the day before and kept in a sealed container until ready to use. Diners love to keep adding these to the soup, so I suggest that you make extra and place them in a bowl on the table.


2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 1/4 cups sweet onions, diced small
2 large jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 tbsp. whole dried oregano, rubbed
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 quarts Organic chicken broth (or any)
2 small (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (or 6 fresh Roma tomatoes)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
1 cup frozen (defrosted) or canned sweet corn
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
4 – 6 flour tortillas cut into small wedges or thin strips
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
Crumbled Cotija cheese (optional)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste


1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over a medium flame and add the onions, jalapenos and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are opaque – approximately 5 minutes. Rub the whole oregano between your hands over the onions, add the cumin and stir well. Cook for 2 more minutes to release the aromatics from the herb and spice.

2. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a slight boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Add the beans, corn and chicken and cook for 5 minutes more to heat through.

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