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Easy Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe

Two black bowls of homemade chicken tortilla soup sit on black plates. Each soup has sliced avocados, tortilla strips, a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese on top of it. A Dutch Oven with the soup sits off to the side. Wedges of limes and a small bowl of shredded cheese sit on the other side.

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5 from 2 reviews

If there was ever a "soup for the soul," this Chicken Tortilla Soup would be it. Loaded with depth of flavors, textures & a bit of spiciness to warm you up on a chilly evening.

Ingredients

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Homemade Spice Recipe for Chicken and Tortilla Strips

  • 2 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 4 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Baked Spice Rubbed Chicken

  • 1/2 of the (above) Homemade Spice Recipe
  • 3 large Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless

Homemade Spicy Baked Tortilla Strips

  • 8-10 Small Corn Tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 tablespoons (above) Homemade Spice Recipe

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 large Sweet Onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 large Poblano Pepper (seeded and coarsely chopped)
  • 2 large Jalapeño Peppers (seeded and coarsely chopped)
  • 6 large Garlic Cloves (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 - 28-ounce cans Petite Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes (I prefer Glen Muir)
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes with Cilantro and Lime Juice
  • 1 can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 - 14 ounce package of Frozen Corn
  • Spicy Shredded Chicken (above)
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 large lime (freshly squeezed)
  • Homemade Spicy Tortilla Strips (above)
  • Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Sliced Avocado - optional but recommended

Instructions

For the Baked Spice Rubbed Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the following ingredients: 2 tablespoons chili powder, 4 tablespoons smoked paprika, 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons each garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme and dried oregano, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper.
  • Pour half the above spice mixture (about 5-6 tablespoons) into a large shallow bowl and coat 3 large chicken breasts with the spices.
  • Brush a large baking dish with olive oil and place the chicken breasts in the dish.
  • Bake for about 25-35 minutes (depending on the size of the breasts). Using an instant-read digital thermometer, cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Remove from the oven and tent with foil. The chicken will continue to cook to a 165°F temperature.
  • Cool slightly.
  • Using two forks, shred the chicken into small pieces. Set aside.

For Spicy Baked Tortilla Strips

  • Cut 8-10 small, thin corn tortillas in half and then cut them in 1/2 inch strips.
  • Throw the strips in a bowl, add one to two tablespoons of olive oil, and spread them out on a cooking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with some of the remaining spice mixture and bake at 400°F for 8-10 minutes until crisp.

For the Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • In a Dutch Oven (or another large heavy bottom pan), sauté for 5-6 minutes or until slightly tender 1 large sweet onion, 1 large poblano pepper and 2 large jalapeño pepper, all coarsely chopped.
  • Add 6 cloves of garlic (chopped) and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add 4 cups of chicken stock, 2 - 28 ounce cans of petite diced fire-roasted tomatoes, and 1 can of Rotel tomatoes with cilantro and lime juice.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 - 14 ounce package of frozen corn, and the shredded chicken. Stir until all is combined.
  • At this point, you may want to add extra kosher salt along with a tablespoon or two of leftover spice mixture, according to your taste preference.
  • Remove the Dutch Oven from the stove and add 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro and juice from 1/2 large lime.
  • When ready to serve, ladle the soup out in a bowl, add a handful of homemade spicy tortilla strips, a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced avocados.
  • ENJOY!!

Notes

  • If you prefer it "spicy," add extra cayenne pepper to the spice mix.
  • Since the chicken continues to cook after you remove it from the oven, it's important to take it out just prior to an internal temperature of 165°F. The chicken will become dry and tough if cooked too long.
  • The best way to shred the chicken breasts is by using two forks. Hold one fork in each hand and with one hold the cooked chicken in place while using the other one to scrape and tear the meat into small shredded pieces.
  • Add both cilantro and lime juice once you remove the pan from the stove. This will preserve the cilantro color, flavor, and texture and it won't allow the lime juice to become bitter while cooking.
  • You could easily half the recipe if you don't want to make that much.
  • The tortilla strips always go in after you ladle the soup into bowls so they are nice and crispy when eaten.

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