Every fall when the weather turns legitimately chilly, the days grow shorter, and I begin to yearn for cozy nights in by a glowing fire, I make chicken tortilla soup. It is one of my favorite soups: it’s hearty, versatile, and universally pleasing. I’ve spent several years perfecting this recipe to reach a fine balance of spice with a nice depth of ingredients. One batch I made several years ago, when Nate’s brother and best friend were visiting, was so spicy that those chile pepper-loving boys couldn’t even handle the heat. By the end of dinner everyone was completely inebriated by attempting to quench their thirst with beer after each bite of soup. I learned my lesson that time and now am happy to say this version pleased both Waverley and her parents. I love this recipe of chicken tortilla soup because it is packed with beans and flavor yet is nearly effortless to make and feeds a large crowd. The next time you are prepping for a cozy night in or hosting a casual dinner, consider making this. I think you’ll be pleased with the turnout!
I am always partial to grilled anything, so I grilled the chicken breasts on the BBQ. I recommend cooking the chicken until it is barely done because it will continue to cook when simmering in the pot. This helps to avoid dry, overcooked chicken. You can also use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to make things extra easy!
We substituted sour cream for plain Greek yogurt. The difference in taste is undetectable once in the soup and the additional health benefits are definitely worthwhile. Plus, I added a large spoonful to Waverley’s bowl to tone down the spiciness and felt much better knowing it was yogurt than cream.
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- One red onion, chopped
- One bell pepper, chopped
- One teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
- ½ teaspoon chile powder
- Six ounce can tomato paste
- One quart chicken broth
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 28 ounce can white hominy
- 28 ounce can black beans
- 15 ounce can kidney beans
- 10 ounces frozen yellow corn
- Four ounce can diced chiles (hot)
- Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (to taste)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
- Tortilla chips
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt (for garnish)
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (for garnish)
- Sliced avocado (for garnish)
- Warm olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until softened. Add spices and stir.
- Add tomato paste, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes into pot. Refill the diced tomato can with water and add to pot. Stir until all combined and bring to a boil.
- Place the hominy, beans, and corn in a strainer and rinse. Add the combo and chiles into the soup. Stir until everything is dispersed into the soup. Reduce from a boil and let simmer.
- Meanwhile chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to soup. Continue to simmer. Add ¼ cup chopped cilantro.
- Dish into bowls and top with shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!