Chicken Tortilla Soup

We’re finally feeling a reprieve from the summer heat and humidity in this corner of the country. Saturday morning we woke up to dark skies and a brisk chill in the air that just felt like fall. The leaves are starting to change colors and litter the ground. My favorite time of year is upon us! And with the change of seasons comes my desire for all things warm and comforting, especially when it comes to food.

On Saturday’s menu: Chicken Tortilla Soup!


I found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman and loosely adapted it to our personal tastes. The results were incredibly delicious! Definitely a recipe we’ll be coming back to often this fall and winter. Here’s how we made our soup:


  • 4 chicken tenderloins
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 diced Red Onion
  • 1 diced Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (approx. 3 cloves)
  • 1 14.5oz can of roasted, diced tomatoes with green chilies (we used TJ’s brand)
  • 32 ounces, fluid Chicken Broth
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Hot Water
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained (but not rinsed)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal
  • 2 jalapenos, diced and deseeded. Reserve seeds.
  • 1 fresh lime, juice of
  • 3 whole Corn Tortillas, cut into thin strips approx. 2″ long and 1/2″ wide


For Garnish (all optional):

  • Sour Cream
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Corn chip dippers on the side (or for dipping)
  • Extra lime juice


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
  2. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Shred chicken with fork and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
  4. Pour in diced tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. ((Here I removed 2 small bowls of soup and set aside for the boys so theirs remained mild and not spicy))
  7. Add jalapeno & lime juice, then simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Check seasonings and adjust to taste. Add jalapeno seeds for a spicier soup (I added the seeds from 1 of the 2 jalapenos). Simmer for 10 more minutes.
  8. Turn off heat, add tortilla strips and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  9. Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, avocado, cheese, cilantro or whatever else your heart desires. ENJOY!

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