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Perfect Chicken Tortilla Soup

Updated on February 12, 2010


  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/2 a large white onion (small diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 cups chicken stock plus 4 cups water
  • 1 cup diced and peeled red tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper (small diced)
  • 1 large jalepeno (seeded and small diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (small diced)
  • 1 cup drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt & pepper to season

For Garnish

  • 4 - 6 corn tortillas (white, yellow or multi-colored)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (monterey jack cheese can be subsituted)

Step 1) Shredding the Chicken - A nice thing about this soup is that you can use leftover chicken for great results. What I like to do is buy a whole roasted chicken from the local grocery-deli and shred up the breasts for my soup. I then have the dark meat as a nice snack or for sandwiches later on. Of course, you can also just boil two or three chicken breasts to shred but it's just easier to use a deli-roaster. Make sure to remove the skin and bones though...

Step 2) Roast the Red and Yellow - Lay out the tomatoes together with the corn and the diced jalepeno on a sheet-pan and pop under the broiler for two or three minutes. Keep on eye on them though, because you just want them to brown and not burn. Once nicely colored, set them aside to cool.

Step 3) Onions and Aromatics - In a medium stock-pot, sweat the onions and garlic together with the celery, bell pepper and bay leaves in 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Once the onions start to turn translucent, add the chicken stock along with the water. Bring to a simmer then add your tomatoes, corn, jalepeno, chili powder and cumin. Cook the broth for about 20 minutes to allow all the aromatics to mingle.

Step 4) Finishing the Soup - Now, add the shredded chicken along with the black beans, fresh oregano and fresh cilantro. Stir in well and remove from the heat.

Step 5) Garnishing - Cut the tortillas into thin strips and deep-fry in a pan of heated olive or corn oil. Do the strips in small batches to avoid crowding and cooling of the oil. If the strips are crowded, they'll cook unevenly. If the oil cools off too much, the strips will soak up too much oil and become chewy. Peel and cut the avocado into thin wedges or dices depending on your preference. Right before serving, top the soup with queso fresco, fried tortilla strips, avocado and fresh cilantro.

Be sure to visit some of my other Perfect Recipe Hubs!

  • Steamed Mussels in Garlic-Saffron Broth - If you love fresh mussels, you simply have to try this recipe! Easy to follow recipe with helpful links and video.
  • How to cook Perfect Meatballs - Three words: Authentic Sicilian Meatballs! This easy to follow old world recipe will amaze you and your guests and will produce the juiciest meatballs you'll ever taste! Contains a section on how to avoid dried-out meatballs.
  • Perfect Sauteed Portobello Mushroom Appetizer - This is one mushroom appetizer that will have your guests coming back for seconds... and maybe even thirds! Another easy to follow recipe from Delaney's Perfect Recipe collection, these are gauranteed to be the most delicious portobellos you'll ever make. Just be sure to have some good fresh bread to sop up all the delicious juices left over...
  • Perfect French Onion Soup - Who doesn't love French Onion Soup? This recipe is a meal in and of itself and is a true taste of France. Enjoy this hearty soup with a nice glass of vin ordinaire and some hot crusty bread and you'll swear you're in Paris!
  • Chef Delaney's Perfect BBQ Spice Rub - Just in case you're in the mood for some barbecue. This is my "secret" blend and makes anything grilled taste great! I always make sure to have plenty of this rub around and hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.
  • Perfect Lemon Chicken - This quick and easy recipe is just perfect for a middle-of-the-week family meal and is gauranteed to make your tastebuds sing!
  • Making Perfect Pesto - In less than five minutes, you can have authentic and great tasting pesto! This hub contains some great deals on mortar & pestles and even includes an instructional video. Whip up a batch of this pesto and enjoy on top of your favorite pasta, as a spread on paninis, or simply to garnish a plate. Salud!


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    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 8 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Delaney really nice! If you are not a professional chef you should be.


    • Delaney Boling profile image

      Delaney Boling 8 years ago

      One of my favorite "cold weather" soups. Thanks for commenting BFP!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 8 years ago

      Great recipe and terrific clear and explicit directions. I love it.