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Chicken tortilla soup closeup from the front.
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5 from 6 votes

chicken tortilla soup - sopa de tortilla

This is chicken tortilla soup that eats like a meal. Big bold tastes that are sure to please.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken tortilla soup, sopa de tortilla
Servings: 8
Calories: 319kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


The chicken stock

  • 10 cups chicken stock no sodium or homemade
  • 8 chicken thighs skin removed
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Chicken tortilla soup

  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 28 oz can fireroasted tomatoes
  • 3 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cups cooked black beans
  • vegetable oil to shallow fry tortillas


  • avocado
  • cheese - cotija works really well
  • sour cream
  • jalepenos
  • green onions
  • fried tortilla strips
  • lime


Poach the chicken

  • Bring the stock to a simmer. Add the chicken.
  • Simmer gently until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 175F. This takes 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the stock. Allow to cool. Remove the chicken from the bones. Shred. Set aside. The chicken is perfectly done at this point. If you have time return the bones to the stock and continue to cook. Otherwise keep them for making stock.
  • If desired strain the stock. There will be little bits floating in it. It's not a big deal.

Roast the onions and garlic

  • Heat a comal or cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Slice the onions into 1 inch thick slices. Peel the garlic.
  • Put the onions and garlic in the dry pan. Keep flipping the garlic. After a few minutes check the onion. If the bottom is browned flip. 
  • Keep flipping the garlic. When it has little charred blisters remove it. The onion is done when it gets soft.

Fry the tortillas

  • Slice the tortillas in strips. You need 3 for the soup plus another 4-5 for garnish.
  • Heat enough oil to shallow fry in a skillet. Add about one tortillas worth of strips and fry, moving them around with tongs, until golden. Remove into a bowl lined with paper towel. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. You are making tortilla chips here. Repeat until all the tortilla strips are cooked. Set aside.
  • When you have fried 3 tortillas worth set them aside separately. They go into the soup. The rest are garnish.

Make the chicken tortilla soup

  • Combine the tomatoes, 3 fried tortillas, onion, garlic, cumin and chipotle in a blender or food processor. Puree.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the pot the soup will wind up in. Add the tomato puree. Fry, covered, for about 10 minutes. Covered is important. The puree will bump. Messy. And hot.
  • Add the stock. Stir to combine. Taste for salt. You will need more. Probably a fair bit more. Creep up on it. 
  • Add the black beans and simmer around 10 minutes. Add the chicken to warm through.
  • Put a few tortilla strips in the bottom of the bowl. Add the soup. Make sure to distribute the black beans and chicken evenly. Garnish as you like and enjoy.


Serving: 8servings | Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 791mg | Potassium: 796mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3.1mg