Chicken Tortilla Soup

I plan my meals a week in advance so as to avoid having to run to the grocery store every day for lack of needed ingredients.  I planned on making Chicken Tortilla Soup last night because the weather forecast had been calling for fall temperatures and rain.  What better night to have soup for dinner?!

On a personal note, growing up, I don’t remember having homemade soup very often.  After having made a couple of soups of my own now, I realize why.  Soups have to simmer on the stove for like…an hour.  If I made a meal every night that took me about 2 hours (like this one) from the time I started making it until the time I could put it in my mouth, I wouldn’t be eating dinner until 8 or 9!  So no wonder my mom didn’t make homemade soup much.  Who has that kind of time?  Of course, if you’re The Pioneer Woman and you live in the middle of nowhere and are a food blogger for a living, then I suppose you do have that kind of time.  Anyway…  speaking of time, it’s soup time.

For starters, grab these four ingredients:

Chili powder, Garlic powder, Salt & Ground Cumin

Preheat the oven to 375.  In a bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin.

Then, drizzle one Tbsp of olive oil over two chicken breasts.  Sprinkle half of the spices mixture over both sides of the chicken breasts.  Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

While the chicken is baking, dice 1 cup of onion.

This is a nifty trick that my husband taught me: make horizontal and vertical slices across the top of an onion, and then proceed to flip the onion on its side and cut straight down.  This will give you lots of small, diced onion pieces.  Maybe a lot of you already know the trick, but I thought it was the coolest. thing. ever. when I learned about it!

Also dice 1/2 cup of yellow bell pepper & 1/2 cup of red bell pepper.

And if you’re like me, you’ll forget that you’re supposed to also dice 3 cloves of garlic, so you’ll frantically start ripping apart cloves of garlic and your counter will end up looking like this:

And then you’ll have to figure out how to sweep it all into the trash can without getting it all on your floor!  Anyway, once you’ve got the garlic cloves diced, toss the bell peppers, onions & garlic into a large pot with a Tbsp. of olive oil.  Sautee and mix those 4 ingredients in your pot.  I put an emphasis on the word “large” because I put these items in a pretty large pot, but it wasn’t large enough once all of the soup ingredients were inside.  So I ended up transferring my ingredients to a different pot half-way through cooking!

Once those ingredients are mixed, toss in the remainder of the spice mixture.

By this time, hopefully your chicken is ready to be brought out of the fiery furnace, which we like to call, the oven.  Take 2 forks and shred that chicken up!

Now, add the shredded chicken to the onion, garlic & bell peppers.  Mix it in.

Time to bring out the big guns, the “closers,” if you will.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term “closer,” I’m referring to a closing pitcher in baseball.  Baseball teams have closing pitchers whom they count on to, well, close the game so they can win!  Speaking of winning…San Francisco Giants are going to the 2012 World Series, people!  Can I get some love from my Giants fans?!


Tomato paste, green chiles, diced tomatoes, black beans and chicken broth

In your pot, add 4 Tbsp. of tomato paste, 4 oz. green chiles, 14 oz. diced tomatoes, 2 cans of drained black beans and 32 oz of chicken broth.  Again, mix it all up.  Then, bring your mixings to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and allow soup to simmer for 55 minutes, uncovered.

Meanwhile, cut strips of corn tortillas.

As well as any other toppings you’d like for your soup, I like avocados, cilantro & more onions!

When the soup is ready, allow to cool for 5 minutes and toss your tortilla strips in to combine.

When you serve, top with your desired toppings.  We ended up with sour cream, pico de gallo, onions, cilantro, avocados and cheese.  The perfect end to a rainy day.

We got a bit crazy with the soup…don’t mind the mess we made on the bowl!  😉

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman)


  • 1 tsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Onion
  • 1/2 cup Yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup Red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 oz. green chiles
  • 14 oz. dice tomatoes
  • 2 cans drained black beans
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • toppings: avocado, onion, cilantro, chiles, pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream, cheese…the possibilities are endless!


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine chili powder, garlic powder, salt & ground cumin in small bowl.
  3. Place two chicken breasts on baking sheet.  Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil on both pieces of chicken.  Sprinkle half of spices mixture over both sides of chicken breasts.
  4. Bake chicken for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Dice 1 cup of onions, 1/2 cup red bell pepper, 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper and 3 cloves garlic.
  6. Heat up 1 Tbsp. olive oil in large pot.
  7. Sautee garlic, onions and bell peppers over olive oil in large pot.
  8. Pour remaining spices mixture into pot.
  9. Remove cooked chicken from oven.  Shred with 2 forks.
  10. Place shredded chicken into pot.  Stir to mix in.
  11. To pot, add tomato paste, green chiles, diced tomatoes, black beans & chicken broth.
  12. Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, allow soup to simmer uncovered for 55 minutes.
  13. Cut strips from corn tortillas.
  14. After 55 minutes of simmering, allow the soup to cool for 5 minutes.  During these 5 minutes, stir in tortilla strips.
  15. Top with whatever your heart desires!
  16. Thank God for your food.
  17. Chow down.

4 thoughts on “Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. jenniferdewey

    Love this! I have been making soups like CRAZY ever since the weather here turned cooler. We eat it that night for supper (dinner, ha) and then freeze the rest! I looked today and I’ve got Tomato soup, Roasted Carrot soup, Chicken and Wild Rice soup, Corn Chowder (2 ways), and Chili all in my freezer! Yay for soup! And YAY for the Giants! I guess I will have to pull out my Giants t-shirt and watch the World Series all the way from ND! 😉


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