Years ago, I had the most scrumptious chicken tortilla soup on the planet. It was made by a sous chef at a private country club where I worked as a line cook/prep chef. This soup had a rich broth that erupted into a smoky-sweet heat at the back of the throat from the jalapeno and poblano peppers.
Chef Grady's chicken tortilla soup had a flavor unmatched by any other. He never relinquished the recipe and I spent years trying to recreate it. Nearly a decade later, I believe I've finally mastered the flavor profile.
Although there are quite a few ingredients this soup is pretty easy to make. It takes about 30 minutes to put together and can be cooked in a slow cooker or on the stovetop. I like to add homemade tortilla strips, but this soup can also be served with tortilla chips, rolls, bread and butter, or bread and dipping oil. It's also amazing all by itself!
I'm excited to share this chicken tortilla soup recipe with you and hope that you and your family and friends enjoy it as much as we do. From my house to yours!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 to 4 hours
1 pound boneless skinless Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small Red Onion, diced
2 medium Jalapeno peppers, diced, seeds removed
1 large Poblano pepper, roasted and diced with seeds
3 large cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon ground Cumin
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
8 cups homemade Chicken Broth, or store bought organic broth
2 (15 ounce) cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
3 large Tomatoes, diced
2 Limes, juice only
4 ounces shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 (10-inch) Flour Tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1. Set stove burner to medium heat and add oil to skillet. Sauté chicken until meat is thoroughly cooked; about 6 to 8 minutes.
2. While chicken is cooking, roast Poblano pepper either on a gas stovetop burner or under the broiler. The pepper skin needs to be charred until it's very dark and almost blackened. Place cooked pepper on a plate and let cool, then dice.
3. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add onion and jalapeno to skillet and cook until soft; about 5 minutes.
4. Place chicken, peppers, and onion into slow cooker. Add chili powder, cumin, and salt and mix well.
5. Pour in chicken stock and add black beans, tomatoes, and lime juice. Mix ingredients together. Cook on high setting for one hour, than reduce to low setting for 3-4 hours.
6. Prepare tortilla strips about 15 minutes prior to serving. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place tortillas on top of one another and slice in half. Cut crosswise into ½-inch strips and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Spread in a single layer and bake until light golden brown; turning halfway through. Total bake time is 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
7. Ladle soup into bowls and top with 1 ounce shredded Cheddar cheese, a sprinkling of fresh Cilantro, and baked tortilla strips.