Chicken Tortilla Soup: A Recipe in Tweets.

People ask me for my chicken tortilla soup recipe all the time. Either they've had it at my house or they have heard other people talking about its deliciousness. Every single time I make this soup I fully intend to write down the ingredients, take perfect photos, use proper measurements and document the entire process so that I can share it with the world. Once I even made a video of myself while preparing it. That didn't work out so well either. It was painful to watch and I now know I'll never be The Next Food Network Star.

My daughter is home for Thanksgiving and it's a little rainy today. Perfect evening for chicken tortilla soup. I don't care that Thanksgiving is just two days away and I haven't purchased one single ingredient on my shopping list. None of that matters tonight. I want to surprise her and make her a special dinner.

During my lunch break I shopped for the ingredients I didn't already have and while I cooked tonight I decided to Tweet out the recipe. It turns out Tweeting while cooking is the best way for someone like me (short attention span, doesn't use exact measurements, cooks to taste) to share my recipes.

What makes this soup so special is the fresh and organic ingredients. For the broth and canned tomatoes - I make sure to also choose organic products. You can alter the toppings to make this as healthy or indulgent as you'd like. 

Ingredients ( * indicates used in soup and garnish / topping):

  • 1 lb organic free-range chicken tenders
  • 28 oz organic fire roasted tomatoes
  • 32 oz organic low-sodium chicken broth
  • *1 -3 jalapeño (1 for soup)
  • pinch red pepper flake
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • *1 tbsp cilantro + more for garnish
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic - chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt (not too much) & fresh cracked black pepper to taste
    • Topping / Garnish
      • * mentioned above
      • scallions - chopped
      • cheese - shredded
      • tortilla chips - crushed
      • pico de gallo or salsa fresca
      • lime 


This is an easy to cook recipe, but there's a bit of prep involved. Sometimes the love of my life - #NoTwitterTodd - will have the prep work done for me so I can just get the soup going once I get home from work. Doing the prep work in advance is a huge help. You can store the meat in one container and all the chopped produce in another. I like to serve the toppings in separate bowls on the dining room table so that everyone can add what they like to their soup. Also, let everyone crush their own tortilla strips.

  • Dice the chicken tenders into equally-sized bite sized pieces. Not too small, not too huge. Season with a little salt and pepper. 
  • Cut the onion into quarters then slice
  • Pull the leaves off the thyme springs and chop (discard stems)
  • Dice the jalapeño for the soup and set aside any extra you'd like as topping
  • Cut red bell pepper into quarters and slice into sticks
  • Chop up all the cilantro and keep 1 tbsp for the soup, all the extra for garnish
  • Chop up the garlic finely 
  • Toppings: grate cheese, chop scallions, prepare pico de gallo, chop extra cilantro and jalapeño, slice limes. Set all aside until soup is served.

Add olive oil to pot. Sauté onions, garlic, red bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, oregano, thyme, coriander and red pepper flake. 

Add chicken. Cook fir about 3 minutes. Stir occasionally, ensuring to not thoroughly cook chicken. 

When the chicken has been cooking about 3 minutes, add the fire roasted tomatoes and turn the heat up from med to high.

Do what it says up there ^ and be sure to taste your soup at this point. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Your soup is going to simmer for a few minutes. While it does so, set the table, get all the toppings reading and pop a cork. The sparkly crisp taste of a brut pairs nicely with the spicy flavors in this soup.

When the soup is ready, ladle into bowls and let everyone add their toppings. I love this soup with everything - cheese, scallions, pico de gallo, tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime. Some even like it with sour cream.

Side note: this soup tastes even better the next day.

Buen provecho!