Tortilla soup is something that just warms my soul. I remember as a kid going out to eat with my parents and my brother to a restaurant called El Torito. They had the most amazing chips and salsa, enchiladas, and of course tortilla soup! So yes, tortilla soup is both nostalgic and delicious.
This is such a fun recipe to make because so much of it can be adapted with different vegetables. The spices and the broth are the main staple of this soup, but this soup can take many forms when it comes to your additions. However, do not make the mistake of thinking this is a tomato based soup. It is not.
This beautiful soup has a base of broth, not tomato, and that will have an extraordinary difference when it comes to flavor.
Something you might not normally run into with this soup is our use of Mexican oregano, which is a stronger oregano, and the chayote which is a Latin derived squash. It makes this dish thrive in flavor and allows for a more robust pallet for those that want to try something new. Also, keep in mind you can use chayote in our Authentic Mexican Chicken and Chayote Enchiladas with Red Sauce.
Family Table Talk
Here is some fun information about this recipe that can be used to spur on loving and open conversations between family and friends.
Origin – Mexico City, Mexico
Geography – Central America which is actually North America
Root – Tortilla, an unleavened flat bread that is made from either ground corn or flour, and can be white, yellow, or blue
1. What is your favorite kind of soup, cream or broth based?
2. Have you ever been to Mexico? If not, what region would you go if you had a flight this weekend?
3. What is your favorite thing about the Mexican culture?
4. What is your favorite kind of Mexican food?
Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup with Roasted Corn and Black Beans
Serve this soup on a cold day and it will make your house smell wonderful and the bellies of those you love most, very happy!
Seasoned Tortilla Strips
10 6-inch corn tortillas
3 tbsp of olive or grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp of each – salt, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
1/4 tsp of each – cayenne, black pepper
2 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
2 cups of corn, fresh or frozen
1 large white onion, diced
1 chayote squash, seed removed and cubed
2 bell peppers, red and green, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large jalapeno, deveined, seeded and diced
2 tsp Mexican oregano
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 14.5oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
6-7 cups of chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2-3 cups of shredded chicken, rotisserie
1 14.5oz can black beans, drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
salt to taste
sliced avocado, pepper jack cheese, Mexican crema (sour cream), a squeeze of lime juice, jalapeno slices
- Seasoned Tortilla Strips: Preheat your over to 325 F and place your rack on the upper third of your oven. Cut your tortillas in half, then into strips and place them into a small bowl. Add in your olive oil and toss gently, make sure they are evenly coated. Add in your spices and toss to evenly coat again. Split them between two baking sheets and bake one sheet at a time for about 10-15 min. You want them to be slightly crispy, they will continue to crisp up as they dry. Set aside.
- Soup: Set a soup pot to med-high heat, add in your oil and fresh or frozen corn. Cook them until they brown, about 4 minutes. Next, add in your onion, bell peppers, and chayote. Stir and let soften for about 5-6 minutes.
- Create a well in the center and add in your garlic, jalapeno and all your seasonings except the bay leaves. Stir for 1 minute to combine. Bring your heat down to medium and add in your diced tomatoes, stir.
- Add in your broth and bay leaves and bring it up to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes, until your flavors have had a chance to meld together and your chayote has softened more.
- Now it is time to add in the shredded chicken, beans and cilantro. Stir to combine and taste. Add more salt now if you need and remove your bay leaves.
- Serve into individual bowls and add any of the suggested toppings. Salud!
If you do not have any Mexican oregano, just use regular oregano but add an additional 1/2 tsp. Also, you can try a Mexican cheese such as cotija, queso fresco, or Oaxaca.