Tangy, spicy, and full of chicken flavor, my Chicken Tortilla Soup is a Mexican soup classic. It brings maximum flavor with minimum effort.

A spicy bowl of fun—Chicken Tortilla Soup. (All photos credit: George Graham)
A spicy bowl of fun—Chicken Tortilla Soup. (All photos credit: George Graham)

For me, soup is a simple dinner meal that delivers flavor and comfort in a bowl. If you’ve spent any time at my Acadiana Table, you no doubt know my love affair with soup.

But, there’s one soup that ups the ante when it comes to both flavor and fun—Chicken Tortilla Soup. This soup celebrates life with its spicy attitude punched with the vibrant colors of a Mexican fiesta.

The South-of-the-border flavors of cumin, chili powder, and lime thickened with a big masa-infused jolt of ground tortilla chips give me reason enough to crack open a Mexican beer. Oh yeah, it’s party time.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced green onion tops
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Bijol seasoning or annatto powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup yellow corn
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups tortilla chips
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup chopped avocado
  • Lime wedges
  • Tortilla strips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place in an aluminum foil-lined pan and bake until a meat thermometer registers 175ºF. Remove to a cutting board and slice into bite-size chunks. Reserve for later use.
  3. In a large pot with a heavy lid over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once sizzling, add the onions, celery, green onions, and garlic. Saute just until the onions turn translucent, about five minutes. Season with cumin, chili powder, Bijol, garlic powder, and white pepper. Add the lime juice, tomatoes, corn, and chicken stock, and stir to combine. Lower the heat to a simmer.
  4. In the container of a blender, add the tortilla chips and a cup of water. Blend on high until the chips are pulverized. Add to the pot.
  5. Add the chicken thighs and cover the pot. Simmer for 45 minutes until the chicken is tender. With two forks, shred the thigh meat and add the reserved chopped chicken breast meat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Just before serving, add the cilantro leaves and stir. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped avocado, a lime wedge, and tortilla strips.
The toppings are up to you: perhaps a bit of grated pepper jack cheese, sliced jalapeños, or a swirl of sour cream; get creative with this one.
Latin spice infuses this soup.
Latin spice infuses this soup.

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