I’m relatively new to the whole chicken tortilla soup thing. My first ever bowl was at Kirbey Lane in Austin last September, and it technically wasn’t even my bowl—it was Adam’s. But he had a kidney stone and I helped him finish it…because that’s what you do for people you love. You help finish their meals when they’re in pain.
To be honest, I’m not quite sure why, so suddenly, chicken tortilla soup has been back on my mind but it is. And if you have never made it yourself, now’s the time. Think of a spicy, rich chicken soup filled with roasted peppers, tomatoes and chilies with soft pieces of corn tortilla floating around.
Yep, pretty much heaven in a bowl. And healthy, to boot! Well, it’s healthy until you dump two cups of cheese on top like I do. Yum.
My chicken tortilla soup uses little balls of hominy, which are essentially balls of cornmeal. They can be a little tricky to find, but look for them in the ethnic food section of your grocery store (near the canned chilies). I love the texture of hominy and they make this soup really filling and tasty!
This soup is perfect to take over to sick friend, or make for yourself when you’re a little under the weather. I had cramps so I made it for myself…and then chased it with a cupcake. But that’s just how I roll. But really! It works wonders for colds and sniffles because of the spicy kick.
But then again—it’s really just awesome any time.
If you want, you could leave out the chicken, sub the chicken broth for veggie broth, and make a vegetarian version.
But I highly recommend using chicken. It heals the soul.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds included)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
8 cups chicken broth (2 quarts)
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
1 cup hominy
2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (or Rotel tomatoes and chilies)
4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
juice of 2 limes
shredded monterey jack cheese for serving
chopped cilantro for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken breasts and simmer for about 20 minutes, until breasts are cooked through. Drain and set chicken breasts aside to cool. Once cool, chop into cube-sized pieces.
While chicken is cooking, roast the poblano pepper over a burner on a gas range stove or under the broiler. You want the pepper to be very dark and charred—almost black. Set aside on a plate to cool then dice.
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a dutch oven or very large pot. Once hot, add the diced onion and jalapeno and cook for five minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and diced poblano pepper and cook for another minute. Add the chili powder and cumin and mix until well combined.
Pour in the chicken stock and add the diced tomatoes, hominy, black beans, green chilies, diced cooked chicken and salt. Bring to a boil.
Finally, add the tortilla strips and lime juice and cook until tortillas soften. Serve with chopped cilantro and shredded cheese on the side.