The first time I had Chicken Tortilla Soup was about 10 years ago at a California Pizza Kitchen. It was a cold, rainy afternoon and all I wanted was something warm to eat. Needless to say, the soup hit the spot. As soon as I tasted it, my brain was trying to figure out how to make it at home. I questioned the server extensively about the ingredients and did a google search for copycat recipes. It was that good.
CPK’s chicken tortilla soup is blended and velvety smooth, with bits of corn and chicken floating in it. While that version is good, after a few experiments, I like this style better. Chunky and full of texture, it’s perfect for using leftover chicken and any spare corn tortillas you may have in your pantry.
Plus, I’m lazy and don’t always want to blend my soup. That velvet smooth soup texture is created by adding heavy whipping cream, so really, I’m saving you calories by not blending it. Hurray for lazy and good-for-you soups!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- November 25, 2018
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into 3/4-inch squares
- 1/2 cup white onion, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (add more if you like your soup spicy!)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 can (11 oz) Shoepeg White Corn
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped (OR 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes with the juices)
- 1/3 cup tomato paste (or 1 (6 oz) can of paste)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 5 drops chipotle style tabasco sauce
- 1 quart homemade chicken stock (or 1 (30.4 oz) box chicken broth)
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped into bite-size pieces
- Step 1
- In a 6 qt stock pot, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, fry the tortilla squares until they just begin to crisp.
- Step 2
- Add onion and jalapeño : cook 1 – 2 minutes until onion is just translucent.
- Step 3
- Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.
- Step 4
- Add the corn, tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, pepper, chili powder, chipotle tabasco and chicken stock to the pot.
- Step 5
- Bring the soup to a gentle simmer.
- Step 6
- Add cooked chicken pieces and continue to simmer until the chicken is warm through, approx. 5 minutes
- Step 7
- Serve with lime wedges, extra jalapeño rings, some diced green onions and a dollop of sour cream on top.
If you want creamier soup, once the soup has come to the first boil, prior to adding the chicken, remove the soup from the heat and puree in batches in a high-power blender or use an immersion blender. Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in up to 1 pint of heavy whipping cream. Add the chicken pieces and return the soup to a gentle simmer. Simmer just long enough to heat the chicken through. If you heat the soup too high, it will break or scorch. And as Alton Brown would say “That’s not good eats!”
The vegetarian version of this soup is equally good! Leave out the chicken and swap the chicken stock for vegetable broth. Add extra veggies like diced carrots and celery, toss in some cilantro or a can of black beans, whatever you like! We serve this soup with extra jalapeño on top, along with a smattering of green onions and a big slice of lime! The little bit of extra acid squeezed over the top can make all the difference. Don’t forget to add a blob (don’t you love how technical we get around here?) of sour cream to the bowl too. Diced avocados and crumbled tortilla chips also make great toppings!
What’s your favorite soup? I’d love to hear! Leave me a comment below and let’s chat about soup recipes.
Till next time,