January is National Soup Month so let’s get busy making one of my all-time favorite recipes: Chicken Tortilla Soup. Hearty, yet light, this soup is loaded with lots of healthy fresh veggies and has a little spicy kick.
Chicken tortilla soup is perfect for these ridiculously cold winter nights we’ve been having in New England lately. It’s a hearty, all-in-one meal and it also makes lots of leftovers, which I love. Yay to leftovers!
I have a little bit of a confession to make…I’m turning this post into a two-for-one. Not only am I making this soup for National Soup Month, but also because I’ve had a lingering cold and need to make some soothing chicken soup.
Yes, it’s true, I’m the latest victim of the 2015 weird cold-that-everyone-has-been-getting-and-it-takes-forever-to-get-rid-of sickness. I felt it coming on right before I left for a New York City trip with the Hubby and some friends a couple of weeks ago.
We all had such a fantastic time (BTW, some of the trip’s photos are on my Instagram), and I hung in there, having a good time, trying to ignore my cold the whole time. When I came back home, the good times were over and I really started feeling ill.
I’ve had this chicken tortilla soup recipe in my recipe collection for a really long time and it always gets me over whatever cold I’m fighting. I think the addition of the spicy jalapeños and chipotle peppers help knock out any illness. I also like to add lots of minced peppers on top of my soup too, as a little extra insurance.
Spices taste so much better when they are bought whole, then toasted and ground up into a powder at home. Just place the whole spices in a dry pan over medium heat, shaking pan back and forth so they don’t burn. They are done when they start smelling fragrant and have turned a light brown. Transfer to a small bowl to cool, then put in a spice or coffee grinder and process until seeds turn into a fine powder. A little tip: make sure the coffee grinder is specifically used for just grinding spices (unless it’s okay if your coffee tastes like various spices and vice versa).
Store the freshly ground cumin in a small glass jar in a cool, dry place.
I used sweet potato in my soup this time, but any type of white potato can be used too.
Enjoy this comforting and healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup all during National Soup Month or anytime!
- 8 cups good quality chicken broth, homemade or store-bought kind
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 large white potato or sweet potato, peeled & diced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp Chipotle Chile en Adobo, canned
- 1 tsp fresh or jarred jalapeño, seeded & minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ⅛ tsp ground cumin
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 small yellow squash, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 2 boneless & skinless cooked chicken breasts, shredded (To cook boneless chicken breasts: cover chicken with water and simmer until done, about 20 minutes)
- 1 Tb fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tb fresh mint, chopped
- 2 Tb fresh lime juice
- 2 Tb sherry
- 1 tsp white pepper
- salt to taste
- 4 fresh corn tortillas, cut into thin strips and fried in oil or baked at 350 until crisp (7-10 minutes)
- 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 avocados, sliced or diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- fresh lime slices
- extra minced jalapeños
- In a large pot over high heat, combine chicken broth, onion, carrots, potato, tomato paste, bay leaf, garlic, chipotle chile, jalapeno, oregano, and cumin. Boil, reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add squashes, red pepper, and cooked chicken. Boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add cilantro, mint, lime juice, sherry, white pepper, and salt to taste. Stir well and remove from heat.
- Garnish with Monterey Jack cheese, tortilla strips, avocados, cilantro, lime slices, and minced jalapeños.