Easy, Versatile Chicken Tortilla Soup

Soups are forgiving.  They need a minimum base, but the rest is flexible, depending on what’s in your pantry.  Soups, like casseroles, are the best way to use up leftovers.

I made this recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup for some friends who came over to help us with our No-Front-Lawn Project.  They assisted with hauling, shoveling, and more hauling, and more shoveling.  My arms and shoulders were quite sore.

This is a fast, easy, versatile recipe that’s hearty and quite fast, ideal for a long day working out in the yard.

Printable recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup-1

Ingredients: 1/2 rotisserie chicken, 1 32-ounce box chicken broth, 1 14-ounce can black beans, 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, 1 4-ounce can green chilies, 1 large onion, 2 small zucchinis, 4 garlic cloves, 1 large red bell pepper, 3 small carrots, corn tostadas or corn tortillas.

There are lots of substitutions for this soup, all depending on your taste and cupboard.  The minimum base is onion, garlic, spices, broth, chicken, diced tomatoes, and tortillas.

-Any canned bean could switch with the black beans. I imagine pinto or kidney would be the best.

-The total for my vegetables (carrots and zucchini) was about 2 cups, which could easily be another mix of veggies like celery, corn, fresh tomatoes, other squash, etc.  Just be aware of which vegetables, like carrots, need to cook longer, and which, like zucchini, barely need any cooking

-Instead of tostadas use fresh corn tortillas cut in strips or crushed tortilla chips

-Rotisserie chicken has 2 bonuses; it’s cooked already and has great flavor, making this recipe extremely fast, but you could also cook 2-3 chicken breasts beforehand then shred it.

I’m sorry, I forgot to get step-by-step photos because my mind was thinking about the yard, not what I was cooking.  Here’s the process.  It’s easy, half the soup is fresh veggies, the other half canned staples, plus already cooked chicken.

  1. In a large soup pot, heat up about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Add diced onions and red bell pepper, and sauté 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add diced carrots, and continue sautéing another 3 minutes.
  3. Add minced garlic, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Stir so all the vegetables get coated with spice.
  4. Shake chicken broth and pour in the whole box.
  5. Add entire can of diced tomatoes, juice and all.
  6. Drain beans in sink; add them to the soup.
  7. Dice up chili peppers and add to soup.  Turn heat up to high to bring it to a boil.  Then lower to medium-high.
  8. Shred the rotisserie chicken by pulling it into strips about the size your pinky or smaller.  Add to soup.  Let everything simmer together for about 20-30 minutes.
  9. During the last ten minutes, add zucchini to cook.  If needed, add in more chicken broth to your desired consistency.
  10. To serve, fill each bowl with soup and top with crumbled tostada, grated cheese, and any other toppings you have around (avocado, green onions, red onions, cilantro, fresh tomatoes, sour cream, etc).

and here’s the delicious finished soup.

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One comment on “Easy, Versatile Chicken Tortilla Soup

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