Chicken Tortilla Soup

When my husband snuck a spoon into the soup pot and gave a “WHOOOO!”, I knew this soup would be a tad too spicy for me, but just right for him and probably all of the people I share the recipe with. Mark has the highest spice tolerance of anyone I know, and good thing – because this soup was HOT!

The recipe I followed called for four jalapeños, and silly me, I followed it word-for-word since so many people who tried and reviewed the recipe said it came out perfectly. Well, as delicious as the soup was, my first slurp sent me running to the fridge for a tall glass of milk, and my second bite called for a pile of tissues to stop my nose from running. And I thought I could take a little more tang since moving to the West Coast, HA!

So, spice-lovers, this one’s for you. If you have a spice tolerance like me, though (as in, not much at all), you should only add about two jalapeños and use the seeds from one. Set aside the seeds from the other in case you think it needs a little more kick. Also, if you’d like, top it with a hearty helping of sour cream to turn down the heat!

Now, I don’t mean to knock this soup for its spiciness, because it was so incredibly delicious, especially with a hunk of my moist, mild Jalapeño Cornbread with Honey-Lime Butter. This soup was definitely a very fun and easy way to use the chicken breasts we always have and introduce our palates to something new. I hope you’ll give it a try!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Total Time: Makes 6 servings


4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, julienned
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 white onion, sliced thinly
8 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 (depending on your spice preference) fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 quart (32 oz.) chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (need 2 limes)
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange tortilla strips on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion, garlic and jalapenos in olive oil until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, chicken broth, lime juice, tomato, salt and pepper. Gently simmer until chicken is cooked, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in avocado and cilantro and heat through. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips and cilantro to serve.



10 Responses to “Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. #
    Lazaro Cooks! — March 30, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

    Saw you on food buzz. Wonderful blog. The soup looks amazing. I would have to dial down the heat because I just can’t stomach spicy anymore, but I love the idea of the soup. Look forward to following you here. Have a great day!

  2. #
    Georgia — March 30, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Lazaro! I know what you mean about not being able to take spicy food anymore – one day, I’m sure my body’s gonna fight back! – but I hope you try the soup!

  3. #
    Cristina @TeenieCakes — March 31, 2010 @ 3:06 am

    Beautiful soup and ingredients. I’m with you about the spice tolerance. I think me and hubby will absolutely love this soup!

  4. #
    Daniel @ The Food Addicts — March 31, 2010 @ 4:39 am

    One of my all time favorite soups!

  5. #
    goodcookbecky — March 31, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

    Looks yummy! Thank you also for the link to better photography! Much to learn here. This soup looks good. I live in So Cal too! Nice blog!

  6. #
    Georgia — March 31, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

    Thanks so much, everyone!

  7. #
    Anonymous — April 8, 2010 @ 12:29 am

    Made this soup tonight. Delicious. I used 2 jalapenos and could barely taste them. But I always take the seeds and ribs out. Maybe next time I’ll use 4 and leave one with seeds or something. In the past I was making this soup way to complicated and it just didn’t taste right. Now I know. One thing I did do differently is add uncooked tortilla strips to the soup after the chicken was cooked.

  8. #
    Georgia — April 8, 2010 @ 12:33 am

    Hey, thanks for your input! Yea, the seeds are where the real spice comes from, so I suggest adding at least one jalapeno worth of seeds if your spice tolerance is low. Spice aside, I’m so glad you liked it!

  9. #
    Er Abhishek Haridasan — January 10, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    Soupy Delight…!!!

  10. #
    Danielle Brooks — February 3, 2014 @ 4:10 pm

    This is the best tortilla soup I have ever tasted. So simple, so perfect! The first time I made this I forgot the tortilla strips and the soup was so delicious on its own that I didn’t even miss them. Thanks for sharing the recipe :0)

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