It’s all about the toppings. I mean, the soup is pretty good, but what really makes chicken tortilla soup is the toppings. There’s a huge variety of recipes to choose from, but this time I went with one from The Pioneer Woman. I’ll include the recipe copied from her site at the end of the post.
Once you load everything into the bowl, the soup gets a little lost, so I thought I’d start off with a picture of the steaming bowl of broth, chicken and beans.
First come the fats…sour cream and cheese. Light sour cream is really good, but light cheese is a pathetic version of cheese.
Then, comes the kick! Red onions, tons of cilantro and chopped avocado. Now we’re talkin’!
The original recipe calls for corn tortilla strips to be placed underneath the soup, but my family likes crunchy tortilla chips on top. I found a new brand at Cost Plus World Market that I LOVE. Xochitl Chips…they’re SO good.
My friend Maggie taught me to put my chips in the oven before serving. Just a few minutes at 350 make you feel like you’re in a restaurant. I bought these with no salt and added sea salt (I love the nice big chunks of salty) before I baked them. It brings the oils back out of the chip and makes you feel like you can’t stop eating them. But, that’s another story.
Pioneer Woman Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 cup Diced Onion
- 1/4 cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
- 1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper
- 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
- 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 4 cups Hot Water
- 2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
- 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
- 5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches
- FOR THE GARNISHES:
- Sour Cream
- Diced Avocado
- Diced Red Onion
- Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
- Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.
Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)