chicken tortilla soup

Tortilla Soup with Chicken

Last Updated on September 7, 2022

Soup with chips in it—should be an easy sell! Especially when it’s super-comforting and flavorful from the smoky, garlicky, tomatoey broth, shredded chicken breasts, and plenty of fun garnishes.

tortilla soup ingredients


Tortilla soup also gets better as it sits, so make it ahead and heat it up for a simple winter weeknight dinner.

chicken tortilla soup recipe

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4.38 from 35 votes
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Protein: Poultry
Cut: Chicken Breast
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • Handful cilantro stems and leaves
  • 2 to 3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in their juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano optional

For Garnish:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges


  • Place the chicken breasts in a 3-quart pot and add 8 cups of water along with 2 garlic cloves, one tablespoon of salt, peppercorns, and cilantro. Bring to a simmer, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.
  • Poach the chicken until the meat is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate. Simmer the broth while you make the rest of the soup.
  • Chop the remaining 3 garlic cloves. Add the vegetable oil to another medium pot (a Dutch oven works well) over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is warm, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender and just turning golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chipotles to the pot and stir to combine. Use an immersion blender or transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Return pureed mixture to the pot over medium to medium heat, place the lid over the pot just barely off-center so some steam can escape, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes or until the mixture has thickened up a bit. The mixture will splatter so keeping the lid on is helpful. Add the stock, remaining teaspoon of salt, cumin, and optional oregano and stir to combine. Remove the lid, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Shred or chop chicken meat and add it to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes to warm it through. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve the soup topped with tortilla chips and any additional garnishes you like.
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