Happy National Homemade Soup Day!
I LOVE soup. It’s so versatile and has so many different varieties, it’s pretty easy to find something for everyone. The best part of soup for me is that the leftovers just get better and better as the flavors meld together. It doesn’t take any longer to make a big pot and I love having individual containers of soup hanging out in my freezer to pull out for lunch at work or an easy dinner when home alone. Today, I’m going to make one of my favorite soups that I haven’t posted yet – Chicken Tortilla Soup.
Chicken tortilla soup is one of those things that’s hit or miss for me. I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m not a big fan of beans and it’s always a crap shoot if the soup will be made with beans in it or not. I also really like the chicken tortilla soups that are creamy because tortillas have been melted into the broth, not like a spicy chicken noodle soup garnished with tortillas. So naturally my solution is to make my own.
My version of chicken tortilla soup started with this recipe from food.com that I tweaked to suit my own tastes. You can make it as spicy as you want by tweaking the amount taco seasoning you add, adding some chipotle in adobo, or throwing in some black beans if you really wanted them. This soup reminds me of the one I used to get at Eddington’s before they closed their downtown Minneapolis location. I make no claims about the authenticity of this soup but it sure is a tasty version.
Here’s what you need:
I started with bone-in chicken breasts that I roasted in the oven, at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until it was done. You can also start with a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. No matter what kind of chicken you use, you’ll want to shred it before putting it into the soup.
In a large pot or dutch oven you’re going to start by sautéing some diced carrots, onions, and celery in a little bit of olive oil over medium-high heat. After a couple minutes, I toss in some minced garlic and salt and pepper. Allow it to cool until the onions become translucent and the rest of the veggies start to soften.
Pour in some chicken broth. Always remember to use the reduced sodium version because you can always add more salt yourself.
Bring this up to a boil.
Add in some petite diced tomatoes. I only had regular diced in my pantry but I prefer the smaller petite dice. I drain them before adding to the soup.
Now some Rotel, don’t drain this, you want the extra flavor from the liquid.
Sprinkle in some taco seasoning. I really like to use my own homemade taco seasoning. You can substitute a packet of premade taco seasoning. I don’t like it as much because of all the sodium. Yes, mine does have some salt but I get to control the level. I also get to control the heat in my taco seasoning too.
Stir in your shredded chicken.
And some corn tortilla strips.
Stir them into the soup and boil for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking, making sure to get the bottom of the pan as you stir.
Now here is where the magic is going to happen. While the soup simmers, the tortillas are going to melt into the soup. It will turn from the brothy soup you see above to a soup that looks creamy.
How cool is that?!
If you happen to be lactose intolerant like my parents, you could stop right here. The soup tastes pretty darn good at this point, believe me I tried. After all you, you should always taste as you go. But I’m going to take it a step further and add some cheese and milk to make it just a little more luscious.
Start by stirring in some shredded Chihuahua cheese. It’s a wonderful mild Mexican cheese that’s similar to Monterey jack and melts really well. A Mexican blend or Monterey jack also works well.
Simmer for 10 minutes or so and then add in some milk.
Simmer for another 10 minutes. If the soup is too thin for you, you can always stir in some more sliced tortillas and allow them to melt in. After you make this once you’ll get a feel for how thin or thick you like it. Sometimes I even do it based on my mood or how many tortillas I have left. If I have 12 left, I’m probably just going to add 12 from the get-go so I don’t have 2 lonely tortillas. Don’t bring it to a full boil after you’ve added the cheese so it doesn’t break.
I like to garnish the soup with some extra cheese and crunched up tortilla chips.
Sour cream, cilantro, or some pico de gallo also work well as garnishes. No matter how you finish and serve it – it’s a great choice for National Homemade Soup Day!
This soup is great leftover and one of those that I truly think is better the next day. It also freezes really well.
If chicken tortilla soup isn’t your thing or you just are in the modd for something else to try on National Homemade Soup Day, you can see all of Gravel & Dine’s soup recipes here.
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 c carrot, finely diced
- 1 c celery, finely diced
- 1 c onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 – 32 oz containers, reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 – 15 oz can, petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 – 10 oz can, Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
- 3-5 T homemade taco seasoning (to taste) or 1 packet store bought taco seasoning
- 10 corn tortillas, cut into strips
- 12 oz chicken, cooked and shredded
- 1 c 2% milk
- 12 oz Chihuahua cheese, shredded
- Garnishes: more cheese, tortilla chips, pico de gallo, cilantro, sour cream
- Sauté carrots, onion and celery in olive oil over medium high heat. After 1-2 minutes add in garlic and salt and pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes more until onions start to turn translucent and the veggies are tender.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add tomatoes, Rotel, taco, taco seasoning, chicken and tortillas. Stir to combine.
- Boil for 20 minutes or until the tortillas are thoroughly incorporated into the soup, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the milk and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Check the consistency of the soup and add in more tortillas if you want a thicker consistency. Just simmer until the tortillas melt in.
- Serve in bowls and top with your favorite garnishes.