I’m a bit of an anomaly. I come from a family who isn’t nearly as obsessed with food as me, and growing up my friends didn’t really care much about food as well. Clearly I’m from another planet. The one thing we did care about growing up was chicken tortilla soup. There was one restaurant in Tucson (Café Terra Cotta) that’s since shut their doors, that had the most epic tortilla soup in the city.
During high school we’d go out for girls night out and without fail, each and every one of us would order tortilla soup. God forbid we should ever branch out and order something else. But why would you want to when this place had the best soup in the world!! It was equal parts smoky and spicy and I made sure to add extra cheese once it arrived to the table. #sorryimnotsorry
I’ve been craving a bit of Tucson lately so I whipped up a version of Tortilla Soup complete with all the toppings! I loaded it up with shredded chicken, cheese, plenty of cilantro, crispy tortilla strips and of course, avocado. (guacamole would totally work too!)
For the Soup
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed and roughly chopped
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes and green chiles
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Shredded Chicken
- Cotija Cheese
- 2 small corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
- Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and sauté for until the onion is translucent and the jalapeno softens. Season with the salt, pepper, dried oregano, cumin and chipotle pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices toast.
- Add the fire roasted tomatoes and the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the soup ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with chicken, cheese, avocado, cilantro and crisp tortilla strips. Add extra lime juice if desired. Serve immediately.
To make the tortilla strips
- In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the tortilla strips in a single layer, frying quickly for about 30-45 seconds, flipping them once to ensure both sides get crisp. Remove the tortillas once crisp with a pair of tongs and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to dry.
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