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Chicken Tortilla Soup: Your Secret to Chasing Away the Winter Chill

Overhead view of a bowl of hearty chicken tortilla soup with a lime slice beside the bowl.

Discover the Perfect Blend of Spices and Comfort in Every Spoonful

As winter wraps its chilly arms around us, there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of warm, hearty soup. Today, I’m excited to share a recipe that has become my go-to during these cold nights: Chicken Tortilla Soup. It’s a blend of tender chicken, flavorful spices, and crunchy tortillas, topped with creamy sour cream and melted cheese.

One of the reasons I love making soups is how adaptable they are. Whether you prepare it on the stove or in the crockpot the result is comforting and tasty. Let’s dive into how you can make this delicious dish at home.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients:

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • 3-5 cloves minced garlic (depends on the potency of your garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 (14.5 ounces) cans of chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 (15 ounces) cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 8 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • chopped cilantro (Optional-to taste)
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (Optional)
  • Sliced Jalapeno (Optional)


I chose to make this in a crockpot but you can easily adapt it to your schedule.

  1. Start with the Base: Add chopped onions, dice tomatoes, and enough chicken broth to cover the chicken in the crockpot. Place on low if starting early in the day or high for quicker cooking time.
  2. When the chicken is cooked through and falling apart, remove and shred the meat. At this point, I like to use an immersion blender to puree the majority of the tomato bits in the broth. then, return the chicken to the crockpot.
  3. Spice it Up: Add the garlic, cumin, and other spices to the chicken. The garlic adds a punch of flavor, while the cumin gives it a warm, earthy note.
  4. Add the Liquids and Veggies: Pour the remaining chicken broth, then add the corn, black beans, and salsa. The broth creates the soup base, while the vegetables and spices add layers of flavor.
  5. Let it Simmer: Turn the crockpot on high and bring your soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows all the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  6. Prepare the Bowls: Get your bowls ready while your soup simmers, and break out the tortilla chips. I prefer to put them in as I eat so they don’t get soggy. They create a delightful crunch with every spoonful.
  7. Serve it Hot: Ladle the hot soup in each bowl.
  8. Add the Toppings: Top each bowl with cilantro, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. The cheese adds a gooey texture, and the sour cream brings a cool, tangy balance to the warm spices.
  9. Adjusting the heat level: It is best to let everyone decide for themselves how much or how little jalapenos they will want in their soup. I prefer a spicy soup on a chilly night but not everyone shares my love for heat.

Deliciousness in Every Bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup

A few years ago, I had my first encounter with this delightful soup during a special evening spent with the kids and grandkids. The occasion called for each of us to whip up a soup to share while reveling in the warmth of one another’s company. The base for the recipe was from Allrecipes, but as I often do, I make my own tweaks and this version is the result.

I must admit, I’m not too sorry to recount this story – actually, not sorry at all – because this recipe turned out to be the absolute star of the evening. Everyone couldn’t stop singing its praises, and what’s truly remarkable about it is its incredible adaptability.

You can effortlessly conform the recipe to your cooking style and taste preferences with a range of options at your fingertips. Try using chicken thighs instead of breasts, opting for a slow-cooked approach (as I did) with the chicken, or even grabbing a rotisserie chicken for convenience.

To add an extra kick, don’t hesitate to toss in some jalapenos or green chilies, just like I did. And when you’re serving it up, consider a slice of creamy avocado as a delightful finishing touch.

This Chicken Tortilla Soup is not just a dish; it’s a comforting experience. The blend of spicy, tangy, and creamy flavors, along with the varied textures from the chicken, vegetables, and tortilla chips, makes this soup a complete meal in itself. It’s perfect for those cold nights when you need something to warm you up from the inside out.

Whether cooking for your family or treating yourself, this soup will become a winter favorite. Add a simple salad, and you’ve got a hearty, satisfying meal. Stay warm and bon appétit!

Please visit Compass Cuisine for more delicious recipes.

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