Chicken Tortilla Soup

Soup is good for the soul they say and I believe it. Chicken tortilla soup is one of the most representative dishes of Mexican gastronomy and it’s one I’ve loved for ages. Also known as “sopa azteca“, which means “soup of the Aztecs,” the exact origin of this famous soup is unknown, although many assume this dish originated somewhere in central or southern Mexico, where the Aztecs originally settled.

tortilla soup

Classic tortilla soup, the way you’d find it in Mexico City, is simply good chicken broth combined with roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, chiles, and tortillas, which are cut into strips and fried. It’s wonderfully satisfying. In California, this soup is often made with a tomato base thickened with ground tortillas. But there are many variations out there, including even a bean-boded soup enriched with crunchy strips of fried tortillas.

All the many different recipe variations for tortilla soup, have slightly different techniques and toppings. Some people make this soup topped with sour cream, fried homemade tortillas, diced tomatoes, and sliced avocados. Others claim their authentic recipe includes shredded lettuce and green chiles. And some insist on using ancho chiles and chipotle in adobo for an even deeper, richer flavor. For my tortilla soup recipe, I wanted a quick recipe, that landed on the healthy side, and I’m incredibly pleased with the result.

tortilla soup

Like many other recipes on my blog, quick meals are necessary for everyone. This soup recipe is just that. I prefer (if time allows) to make my quick chicken stock like I do with my chicken soup with matzo balls. Whenever I make a roast chicken, I typically make a stock the next day with the bones and freeze it. But, if I don’t have that one hand, I use good quality store-bought chicken stock. In this recipe, I support using a store-bought roast chicken to make it super fast and easy no matter where you land on broth. Fresh corn is my preference but here, frozen corn can work just as well, especially in the cooler months when corn is not available. I skip thickening of the broth like many recipes suggest, and opt for a healthier tomato base one instead.

tortilla soup

I don’t, however, skip on the toppings. Seriously, that may be the best part. Cilantro, crispy corn tortilla chips (store-bought work completely fine, but feel free to make the homemade kind if you desire), fresh, ripe avocados, and a little shredded jack cheese are essential to round off the is simple, yet flavorful soup I adore.

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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