Chicken Tortilla Soup
April 2009
by Eddie Sell
This soup recipe is sure to be any firehouse or home favorite. This 1-pot meal is loaded with a perfect blend of ingredients & a subtle hint of spices to warm you up inside. One bowl never seems to be enough!

Delicious garnished with sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, grated cheese, Eddie's Chipotle Sour Cream, lime wedges, your favorite hot sauce or Eddie's Red Chile Sauce, and, of course, topped with crispy tortilla strips.

Serves: 6-10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Pasilla pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed if heat reduction is desired
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 whole cooked chicken - rotisserie, grilled, left over - shredded or cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 15oz cans whole stewed tomatoes
  • 1 49oz can of chicken broth (or 3 chicken bouillon cubes, reconstituted in 6 cups warm water)
  • 1 15oz can of beans - black, kidney, white, pinto...your choice
  • 1 15oz can of sweet corn kernels, drained

  • 2 cups vegetable oil to fry tortilla strips
  • 1 dozen tortillas (corn or flour), cut into thin strips


  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed & chopped (no stems)
  • 2 cupes shredded cheese: Cheddar, Jack, Cotija; Mexican Queso Fresco is Eddie's favorite
  • Sliced limes
  • Hot sauce to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, peppers & garlic and sauté until just al dente, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the dry spices and lime juice and stir. Add the chicken and stewed tomatoes, as well as the broth, beans & corn.
  3. Bring soup to a simmer and keep it there for about 30 minutes so that all of the flavors dance around.
  4. While the soup is simmering, heat oil over med-high heat* in a large skillet and fry tortilla strips until golden brown**; this usually takes 2-3 batches.
  5. With a slotted spoon or spatula, remove strips from oil and place on paper towels to drain & crisp up, lightly seasoning with salt while still hot.
  6. Add a full handful of tortilla strips to the soup and stir in, reserving the rest for garnish.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with avocado, cilantro, cheese and hot sauce, with lime slices on the side and with remaining tortilla strips sprinkled on the top of each bowl.

    * The temperature for deep frying is usually right around 350° F; if you have a candy thermometer, you can check the temperature

    ** When frying the strips, you might wish to have your stove hood vent on and windows open - it can get smoky!