I’ve made a few changes to my chicken tortilla soup recipe. I made it for friends and family a few times over the holidays, so I thought I would update the original recipe with my changes here. I think the original is still tasty, but I prefer this version because it is a bit smokier and spicier. This is another recipe in the chicken rotisserie series.

Chicken tortilla soup
A Sara Original


Depending on how much chicken you have leftover – we usually use about one cup of shredded chicken, if that, and we typically save the darker meat for this soup*
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce (we use two, but only use one if you prefer it less spicy)
1 tsp cumin
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp oregano
2 cups cooked beans – our favorites are chickpeas or black beans (1 cup of each for a little variety), but use whatever you like
4 cups chicken stock**
2 cans fire-roasted chopped tomatoes (I like Muir Glen or make your own – I’ll be doing these soon, so I’ll report back!)
1 cup tortilla chips
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional garnishes: jalapenos, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro


Preheat large soup pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and wait until oil begins to shimmer. Add diced onion and peppers. Saute until onions turn translucent. Add garlic and spices and saute just briefly (about 30 seconds). Add chicken and stir around to thoroughly combine ingredients. Add beans, stock and tomatoes. Cook for about twenty to thirty minutes, until soup is slightly thickened.

Crush a handful or tortilla chips in each bowl, and ladle soup over top of tortilla chips. Add additional garnishes of your choice. Serves about eight.

*If you just want to make this soup and don’t have a whole chicken to work from, here’s my trick using bone-in chicken breasts: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Dry the chicken breasts and salt and pepper them generously. Then heat a bit of olive oil in a cast iron skillet, brown the chicken on both sides in the pan, and then put it in the preheated over for about 20 minutes (the internal temperature will be 160 degrees when it’s done if you aren’t sure). Let it rest for about 5 minutes so it soaks back up the juices, and then shred it into pieces to put in the soup. Be sure to dump all of the juices from the pan into the soup too (you can thin it with a bit of water to make sure you get up all of the tasty bits stuck to the pan) – yum! I make my soup with just two chicken breasts (local, happily raised) and have used that to feed 12+ people, so a little bit goes a long way.

**The homemade stock really makes this soup, so be sure to save the chicken bones from this batch to make some stock for next time. Stock making tips here.