Chicken Tortilla Soup

Updated June 2014

Our family enjoys homemade tacos for dinner, but we always end up with excess fresh stone-ground corn tortillas.  They won’t keep until the next “taco night” so I pop them into the freezer.  When we have 8 frozen tortillas, I pull them out and make a batch of chicken tortilla soup.  I like to make my Mexican tortilla soup recipe with as many fresh ingredients as possible.

This soup is a family favorite that can easily be served mild or spicy, to please everyone!  Our chicken tortilla soup recipe produces the mild version.  To give it a spicy Mexican flair we add Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce.  A few drops in the bowl give it a festive kick.  Our kids like it mild (without the pepper sauce).  I like it with a little spice while my husband likes it hot and spicy.  To jazz up the soup you can get creative with additional garnishes, such as grated Monterey Jack cheese, chopped green onions or fresh-diced avocado.

Our chicken tortilla soup recipe is low in fat and very healthy.  The stone ground corn tortillas and kernels provide the healthy nutrients of corn.  According to the World’s Healthiest Foods corn's contribution to heart health lies not just in its fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate that corn supplies.”  The chicken is a very good source of protein.  Protein protects against bone loss in older people.”

                                                                                                                                             

Reasons our Chicken Tortilla Soup is Eco Friendly

  • Vegetables and chicken are low carbon producing foods
  • This homemade soup recipe saves 5 commercial soup cans from recycle or the landfill
  • No transportation of heavy cans of soup


Reasons our Chicken Tortilla Soup is Healthy

  • Corn is a good source of many nutrients including folate, dietary fiber, phosphorus, manganese and vitamins B1, B5 and C.  Folate-rich diets are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, colon cancer and birth defects.
  • Chicken is an excellent source of the essential amino acid tryptophan.  It’s also a very good source of protein and vitamin B3 (niacin).
  • Homemade soups avoid toxic BPA lined soup cans.

Ingredients:
8 stone-ground corn tortillas – fresh or frozen
3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts - cubed
2 quarts chicken stock, we make ours with:
3 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillon - Organic Chicken Base
2 quarts water
6 garlic cloves – chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro – chopped
1 large onion – chopped
2 lbs. Roma tomatoes - quartered
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. salt
1 cup frozen corn or fresh cooked corn

Optional Garnishes
    Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce – to taste
    Monterey Jack cheese – grated
    Green onions – chopped
    Avocado - diced

Recipe Summary:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Makes 10 cups

Note:
You will need an 8 qt. cooking pot and a blender


Directions:
Coarsely chop 5 tortillas and put them into the cooking pot.  Add garlic, cilantro and 2 cups of stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Combine chopped onion and 1 cup of stock in a blender and puree.  Add to the pot mixture.  Combine tomatoes and 1 cup of stock in the blender and puree.  Add to the pot.  Add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, salt, chicken cubes and remaining stock to the pot.  Stir the ingredients to mix well.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.

While the soup is simmering preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the 3 remaining tortillas into ¼ inch strips.  Place them on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside for garnish.

Add corn to soup and heat through, for about 5 minutes.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with crisp tortilla strips and other optional choices.  Add Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce to the taste of each individual.