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 has since shut their doors, that had the most epic tortilla soup in the city.
During the good old days of high school (when we literally didnt have a care in the world) we’d go out for lunch or a 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 then again, why would we want to when this place had the best chicken tortilla soup on the planet!! 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 trip to Tucson lately so I whipped up a version of this Tucson inspired Chicken Tortilla Soup and piled it high with all the toppings! It’s loaded with shredded chicken, cheese, plenty of cilantro, crispy tortilla strips and of course, avocado. (guacamole would totally work too!)
Chicken Tortilla 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
- ¾ cup black beans
- ¾ cup frozen corn
- 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
- shredded cheese - colby jack / monterey jack / pepper jack your choice
- quartered limes
- cubed avocado
- sliced green onions
- 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. Add black beans, corn and shredded chicken.
- Divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with 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.