Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla

~ Chicken Tortilla Soup ~

This soup is all about leftovers. We roasted a whole chicken for dinner the other night, and ended up with a lot of meat. When this happens I’ll use the leftovers in a soup or stew, prepared with a homemade stock from the carcass.  The vegetables are inspired by the odds and ends in my vegetable drawer (fennel and carrots) matched with a few must-haves (onion and garlic) and pantry staples (canned Italian plum tomatoes and black beans). I spiced up the stock with warming southwestern spices in defiance of the dreary drizzle outside, and finished the soup with a shower of shattered tortilla chips, which happened to be leftover in the bottom of their bag – too small for swiping through a bowl of salsa.

Chicken Tortilla view

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Season and spice the soup to your taste. Ideally it should have a little heat, but since our family is divided on what constitutes “spicy”, I pass a bottle of hot sauce around the table so everyone can fire up the soup to their taste. Serves 4 to 6.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large fennel bulb, fronds and bottom removed, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons pasilla chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 (28 ounce) can chopped Italian plum tomatoes with juice
3 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

Tortilla chips
Diced avocado, optional
Hot sauce

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and sauté until softened, 2 minutes. Add carrots, fennel and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes. Add jalapeño, cumin, chile powder, paprika and coriander. Cook, stirring, until the spices are fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and partially cover. Simmer 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add sugar if necessary. Stir in the chicken and black beans. Continue to cook until heated through. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with tortilla chips and avocado, if using. Pass the hot sauce.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
Sausage, Kale and Tomato Ragout with a Poached Egg
Clam Chowder

10 responses to “Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. Another great recipe, another one that I’ve never made at home… you are hitting all the right notes with me lately… ;-)

  2. I love that your soup isn’t thickened with soggy tortilla strips. I want a bowl right now.

  3. A great leftover recipe! Your soup looks wonderful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. Oh how nice! Never tried this, but must give it a go!

  5. The Wimpy Vegetarian

    What a perfect way to use up leftovers. I frequently find a home for my little crisper drawer orphans in a soup, but hadn’t thought to take the next step of dressing it all up with tortilla chips. Great idea!

  6. I love making a meal with whatever i can find.. great use of the tortilla chips too..

  7. That is about 1,000 times better looking than any chicken tortilla soup I’ve seen. And I like chicken tortilla soup!

  8. Magnificent that you are sharing a recipe using leftovers and what you already have in your pantry! For me this is what creative cooking is all about; inspiration is everywhere. A splendid dinner idea!

  9. Ahhh…leftover soup, my favorite!

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