I’ve been making this soup for years. It’s evolved over time and is now a hearty version of tortilla soup. The broth is pretty much perfection with spices like cumin and chili powder elevating the flavor. You start off with a basic mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery), jalapeño, spices, chopped tomatoes, broth, and wait for it…..white corn tortillas (they dissolve into the broth). You finish it off with perfectly roasted shredded chicken and black beans. It’s seriously good and your family will love it!
I use an immersion blender for a smooth soup. Many people do this for the simple reason that they prefer a smooth soup. I do it because if I don’t, my son will pick through the soup like a detective and find every piece of onion, carrot, and celery. To make it easier on both of us, I blend the broth until smooth and everyone is happy.
The simmer is key. Letting all of those simple ingredients hang out and get to know each other for half an hour makes for the best soup full of flavor. It’s kind of like when you get together with a great group of friends and you bring out the very best in each other. That’s what happens with this soup. Allow the ingredients to simmer away to get the best possible result.
The other tip is don’t skimp on toppings! I put out bowls of freshly shredded cheese, home fried tortilla strips (by far the most popular topping), sour cream, wedges of lime, slices of avocado, and cilantro. The soup is beautiful on it’s own but the strong selection of toppings take it to another level. We top our soup the same way we top chili.
- 2 chicken beasts, bone in, skin on
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 4 fresh white corn tortillas, cut in half, then cut crosswise in ½ inch strips
- 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- sour cream
- freshly grated cheese (cheddar or jack)
- lime wedges
- crispy tortilla strips or tortilla chips
- avocado slices
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place chicken on half sheet pan, skin side up. Coat chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes or until done. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones. Shred meat. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in large pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, and jalapeño. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes, stock, and sliced tortillas.
- Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Use immersion blender to blend until smooth.
- Adjust seasonings.
- Add shredded chicken (about 2 cups) and black beans.
- Serve with choice of toppings.
- To Make Tortilla Strips: In a pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add thinly sliced tortilla strips in single layer. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to to plate lined with paper towels and season with kosher salt. *If pan begins to smoke, lower heat.