If you've got a hankering for a soup with a southwestern flair, then have I got a recipe for you! A bowl of this chicken tortilla soup with roasted red peppers, sweet corn, and creamy avocado, is a simply scrumptious option, sure to enliven your tastebuds.
Chicken Tortilla Soup, a Cozy One Pot Meal
I love the smokey, savory flavor of chicken and roasted red peppers, the taste of sweet corn, and the nutty-ness of crunchy tortilla chips.
Chicken is an easy favorite, there's so many ways to make it delicious—add a little smoke and some spiciness and you've got yourself the perfect protein with a kick.
And tortilla chips? Well they're great with all sorts of things, but did you know they act as a delicious thickener to soups when simmered and blended in?
It all brings me to this wonderfully seasonal, comforting and richly-flavored chicken tortilla soup, with all those hearty ingredients whirled up into a cozy-yet-simple one pot meal.
Everything simmers together in a broth to create a silky-yet-slightly textured base when lightly blended.
Topped with smoky chicken, creamy avocado, a cool swirl of crème fraiche, and a crumble of cotija cheese, you've pretty much got a complete meal.
Healthy, seasonal, filling, and on the table in about 20 minutes, this chicken tortilla soup is sure to be a favorite, and fast to become a go-to soup when flavors of a southwestern flair are what you're craving.
Imagine a leisurely dinner on the patio with a glass of wine or a frosty-cold margarita...
Chicken Tortilla Soup Tips & Tidbits
• "Rough" chop for ease: You don't have to worry about dicing your vegetables perfectly, or into tiny pieces for this soup—a quick, rough chop is fine, as everything gets pureed.
• Frozen corn is fine: I like to use frozen corn kernels in this recipe for convenience, and if you can find organic, that's great; also, if you can find white corn kernels, use those.
But if you'd like to use fresh corn, just use a knife and cut the kernels off of about 6-8 ears of corn—you'll need a pound.
• Fire-roasted tomatoes for flavor: If you can find organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes, use them as they contain great smoky flavor; but if you can't find the fire-roasted, just use the regular.
• For a smoky effect: I love to use liquid smoke seasoning for a little mesquite flavor with the chicken.
Typically, you can find liquid smoke in the seasoning section, either where condiments are found, or where the salt/spices are located; but you can certainly leave it out.
• Use rotisserie for ease: Save some time by using rotisserie chicken for this—just sprinkle the liquid smoke, if using, over top and toss to coat.
• Go veg: For a vegetarian option, just switch out the chicken stock for vegetable stock, and forgo the diced smoky chicken as a topper.
Feast your eyes, or just jump to the recipe:
Chicken Tortilla Soup
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4-6 (1 1/2 to 2 cups per serving)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
• Avocado oil
• 1 large onion, roughly chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• Black pepper
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• 1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry, then chopped
• 1 (1 pound) bag organic frozen corn kernels
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 (28 ounce) can fire-roasted and diced tomatoes
• 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
• 4 cups chicken stock, hot
• 1 cup (heaping) white corn tortilla chips
• Smoky Chicken (recipe below)
• Avocado, diced for garnish
• Cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)
• Creme fraiche, for garnish (optional)
• Cilantro leaves and lime wedges, for garnish
-Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 4 tablespoons of avocado oil; once hot, add in the onions, and allow those to saute for a few minutes until translucent; add in the garlic, along with a good couple of pinches of salt, some black pepper, and the cumin, coriander and cayenne, and stir together for a moment or two.
-Next add in the chopped roasted red peppers and corn kernels, along with the tomato paste, and stir together to combine; add in the canned diced tomatoes, along with the cilantro leaves, the chicken stock, and the white corn tortilla chips, and stir; bring to the boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes; using a hand-held immersion “stick” blender (or even a blender), blend until the soup is pureed and smooth.
-Ladle into bowls and top with a little of the smoky chicken, some avocado, and any of the garnish ingredients you'd like.
Smoky Chicken Ingredients:
• 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts sliced length-wise to make 4 thinner cutlets
• Avocado oil
• Black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke seasoning
• Pinch cumin
• Pinch cayenne pepper
-Season the chicken with a couple of drizzles of oil, plus a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, the liquid smoke seasoning, and the pinch of cumin and cayenne.
-Preheat a large pan with a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat, and once very hot, add in the chicken and sear until cooked through and golden-brown, about 8 minutes or so; chop the chicken into small pieces, and keep warm until ready to serve with the soup.