Easy Tortilla Soup Recipe

by Ginger on January 6, 2014

in Get In Mah Belly

When we were all recovering from being sick, I could not think of a single thing I wanted for a Christmas dinner, besides soup. Specifically, tortilla soup, a nice brothy thing filled with some bright lime flavor. So, we had tortilla soup, and lo, it was perfect.

Since it’s SO. FREAKING. COLD in most of the rest of the country, and because so many of you are sick, I though you might like a nice, easy tortilla soup recipe. I basically created a frankenstein soup based on a bunch of different recipes I was given, and it turned out fantastic. I have no idea if it’s a “traditional” tortilla soup, but it’s darn tasty either way. And the whole thing, start to finish, took under an hour, and was CAHRAZY easy. It was warm, and spicy, and filling, but bright and lovely, and exactly what we were craving.


3 chicken breasts

5 limes

2 14 oz. cans chicken broth

2  14 oz. cans beef broth

1 10 oz. can Rotel w/ cilantro & lime (you could use another rotel, or just diced tomatoes, your call).

1 4 oz. can diced green chiles (we used mild, but if you want it spicier, feel free to use the hot stuff)

3/4 jalapeno diced (optional)

1/2 onion diced (or more, to taste)

1 tablespoon tomato paste


Chili powder


1 15 oz. can beans (I suggest black beans or pinto beans), drained & rinsed

1/4 jalapeno diced (optional)


While you’re prepping everything else, throw some Lawry’s, cumin & chili powder onto the chicken, then marinate them in the juice of 4 of the limes. Do all your chopping prep, and from here, it’s basically an order of assembly. Combine all the broth in your soup pot (I use a dutch oven), then add the chicken with the lime juice. If this isn’t enough liquid to cover your chicken, either add some water, or add more broth. Depending on how brothy you want it of course.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, then check your chicken. If it’s still pink, cook a few more minutes. If it’s done, keep the broth simmering while you remove the chicken. Take two forks and shred (or cut if you prefer diced chicken) the chicken, then return to the pot. Add the Rotel, the green chile, the 3/4 jalapeno, the onion, the tomato paste, and however much cumin/chili powder/lawry’s sounds good to you (if I had to guess, I’d say I probably used about 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and several generous shakes of Lawry’s, but I really just eyeball this kind of thing. I also love cumin and chili powder, so take that into account). Stir all that together, and bring back up to a boil so you can get a nice simmer going again. Cook for about 20 minutes if you have time just to let the flavors really come together. If not, just cook until you have the new simmer going.

When you’re about 10 minutes from wanting to serve, add the beans, and the juice of the other lime (if you like it extra bright like I do). Taste the broth to see if you need more seasoning, if so, add to taste. After you’ve let the beans cook in with the rest for about 10 minutes, add the last 1/4 of jalapeno if you’re adding it.

You’re all done!

My favorite garnishes for this soup are some diced avocado, an extra spritz of lime (I like lime, OK?), and some freshly fried tortilla crumbles, or lacking those, some store bought tortilla chips. N.C. likes to add shredded cheese and sour cream and cilantro. All of these make nice garnishes, but it’s also pretty tasty all on its own.


(This made us approximately 8 servings.)

Tortilla chip/strips/crumbles directions:

Corn tortillas

Canola oil (or you CAN use pam or something, but they’re better with oil)


Lime juice


Preheat oven to 350. Put corn tortillas on a baking sheet, and lightly coat in oil. You don’t want them soaking wet, just a nice light coat of oil.  Juice the lime over the tortillas, then add cumin & salt to taste. Pop in the oven, and bake until crispy. I’d say for us it usually takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on how many we have, but just watch them. The line between crispy and charred beyond recognition is pretty slim with these.

When they’re all golden and crispy, take them out and let them cool a bit, then break into pieces. (Alternately, you could cut the tortillas into strips or chips prior to baking them, but you have to watch them MUCH closer, as they can head to burnt pretty quickly that way). Add to your soup, or use for guacamole, or eat them standing over the oven, fending off the rest of your scavenger family.

Traci January 6, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Your last paragraph=best part of this recipe. Also, it looks delicious! :]

Kelly January 8, 2014 at 6:32 pm

I basically INHALED this tonight, and my husband, who isn’t at all ungrateful that I cook but also doesn’t ever say much beyond “it was good” and has to be shaken down to even give that much of an opinion on anything I cook, actually SPONTANEOUSLY said how much he liked it, several times, and packaged some directly from the pot into a container for his lunch tomorrow. I already want to make this again. I have about 85,000 recipes for chicken tortilla soup bookmarked from over the last 1800 years, so I don’t know why I all of a sudden just jumped on this one today, but seriously. It vanished. Penny asked if I was drinking my dinner. I actually was at that point, bowl lifted up and everything. SO GOOD.

Ginger January 8, 2014 at 8:41 pm

I’m so glad to hear that 1)you liked it and 2)Phil liked it and 3)that my directions/recipe actually worked! (I’m always a bit iffy on that last part).

Also, it makes EXCELLENT leftovers, so Phil should be pretty happy tomorrow for lunch.

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