Soup season won’t be here for long and this Smoky Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, with a flavorful blend of spices, is a warm and comforting Tex-Mex favorite.
I feel like I’m in a race with mother nature. A race to get in all the comforting winter recipes before spring arrives. You know, all the soups, stews and chili recipes. Oh, and all the casseroles, pasta dinners and things like mashed potatoes.
But let’s face it, while the rest of America is having pretty normal winter weather, here in Texas, it’s been spring like since early January. Ok, if I’m really facing reality, we really only had winter for like two weeks.
With most days climbing into the 70’s and picturesque clear blue skies, I know I should not complain about the lack of winter weather here in Texas, even if it means less comforting winter foods, and be grateful. And believe me I am… I wouldn’t even know what to do if we had real winter weather here.
However, being a lifelong Texan, I know that with a mild winter comes a long and blistering summer, with temperatures reaching 100 degrees for months… which is definitely not soup weather.
So, with only a handful of cooler days in the forecast, I am making every effort to make as many winter recipes as possible. This Smoky Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is one comforting winter recipe that we have been making ever since the temperatures dipped into the 60’s last fall.
Chicken Tortilla Soup is E’s absolute favorite soup and he asks me to make it for dinner often. I have my go to favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, but when I went to make it sometime last fall (after countless requests from E), he quickly asked if there was another recipe I could try. A little offended, I asked if he didn’t like my classic Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, and he quickly said no, that he LOVED it, but that he wanted to see what other variations there might be.
Since I’m on a quest to utilize my massive collection of cookbooks more frequently, I quickly pulled out a few that I knew might have a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe and discovered this smoky variation in The Homesick Texan Cookbook. I’ve tried a few Homesick Texan recipes, all being absolutely delicious, but most being rather time consuming. I changed up her recipe to make it a little easier and faster, making this comforting soup recipe perfect for a winter weeknight dinner.
And for those of you that live up north, where you have actual winter weather, please be stay safe, bundle up and keep warm.
- ½ cup plus 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6-8 inch stale corn tortillas, cut into ¼- thick strips
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes or diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken*
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Garnishes (as desired):
- Cotija cheese, crumbled
- Avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
Heat ½ cup of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add tortilla strips to the hot oil and cook until crisp, about one minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer crispy tortilla strips to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Fry remaining tortilla strips until crispy and transfer to paper towel lined plate and set aside.
In a large soup pot, heat remaining ½ tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes or until translucent. Stir in garlic and chipotle chiles and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, cloves, salt and black pepper. Cook stirring constantly for one minute.
Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and lime juice. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soup thickens slightly and gets darker in color.
Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in shredded chicken. Simmer soup for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cilantro and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
To serve, place 4-5 crispy tortilla strips in the bottom of a soup bowl. Ladle soup over the tortilla strips and serve soup garnished, as desired, with diced avocado, cheese, fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice.
*Leftover shredded smoked turkey works well in this recipe.
To save time, store bought crispy tortilla strips (usually found with the salad toppings and salad dressings at most grocery stores) may be substituted for the homemade tortilla strips.
Recipe adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
If you like this Smoky Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, then you’ll love these soup recipes: