tortilla soup

tortilla soup in a blue bowl with lots of toppings. woven basket and colourful cloth in the background

i've been in mexico this week so i'm posting a mexico inspired recipe

tortilla soup is a perfect dish to use up leftovers. my mom usually makes it the day after we buy bbq chickens from the local market here. like most of my favourite recipes, it is very forgiving and will be delicious even if you don't quite have all the ingredients. it's really all about the toppings!


  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 jalapeño diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed (or leftover corn cut off the cob)
  • 1 small corn tortilla shredded (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, washed and chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 1 lb leftover bbq chicken, shredded (or whole raw chicken breasts)
  • 1 lime juiced
  • salt to taste

extra toppings:

  • grated or crumbled white cheese
  • crema or sour cream
  • diced avocado
  • fried tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
  • fresh jalapeño sliced or diced
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • a selection of hot sauces for those who like it hotter


1. heat oil in a large saucepan. sauté onion, garlic and jalapeño on medium hight heat until soft and aromatic. add spices and toss for another minute or two

2. add tomatoes, stock, beans, corn, cilantro, shredded tortilla (this is the thickener but if you don't have a tortilla it will just be a thinner broth) and chicken breasts (if you are using raw) to the pot and bring to a simmer. simmer on medium low for twenty five minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

3. if using leftover cooked chicken, add to pot now. if using whole chicken breasts, remove them from the pot and shred with two forks then return shredded chicken to the soup. cook for five more minutes.

4. finish soup with lime juice and salt to taste

5. serve with toppings of your choice or put all the toppings on the table and let your guests dress their own bowl as they choose!

so easy and so delicious. let me know if you give it a try or if you have any other suggestions for ingredients or toppings that i didn't include in the list


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