This soup is so easy to make and so flavorful! Especially if you use your own homemade chicken broth. I love making my own broth because it’s easy, more flavorful and more economic, since you can use half of the chicken in this recipe and save the other half for something else. But it’s still unbelievably good with purchased broth. There are so many versions of this recipe online, but this is a combination of them and it turned into the best I have ever had! I love the spicy kick the El Pato jalapeno tomato sauce gives it. You can find it next to the tomato sauce in your grocery store. But if you are making this for your young ones, they might prefer the spice toned down, so you can substitute it with regular tomato sauce, or leave it out altogether. The salsa will give it good flavor. Plus you can always add your own Tabasco or chili to spice up your own bowl if you want.
Also, you can add potatoes, or substitute the black beans with pinto beans. So many possibilities. The first time I made this, I seriously had it for every meal until it was all gone. This also freezes well, if you ever have any leftover, but I doubt that you will.
I also prefer to make my own fried tortilla strips because I just think they are more flavorful. But you can also use store-bought tortilla chips, or use a small bag of Doritos and crunch them up. The homemade ones are easy to make, though: Just cut the fresh tortillas into strips as illustrated below and fry them in oil or lard until browned and crispy. It’s worth the effort.
Next, choose your toppings. It’s all up to you!
- ½ onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups chicken broth
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 24 oz. jar chunky salsa (I used Pace)
- 1 7-3/4 oz. can spicy El Pato tomato sauce, optional
- 1 can (15 oz.) whole corn kernels, drained
- 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (and more for topping, if desired)
- 2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
- crushed tortilla chips
- Optional Toppings:
- sliced avocado
- chopped green onion
- shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- chopped cilantro
- sour cream or creme fraiche
- In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in cumin, oregano, chicken broth, lime juice, salsa and tomato sauce.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in corn, black beans, cilantro and chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Ladle into individual serving bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, more cilantro and chopped green onion. Or add toppings of your choice, like sour cream or creme fraiche.
Et cetera: My neighbor’s son and his wife love chicken tortilla soup, and on his last visit, he asked me if I had a recipe for it on my blog. Sadly, I did not. So Jaime and Su-Young, this one’s for you! I hope you like it!