Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Let me just start by saying I was really happy with how this soup turned out. However, it's not for everyone. If you don't like spicy food, you won't really like this soup. It's not so spicy that you can't taste all the flavors of the soup; the heat is actually perfect. But you have to like spicy food. There - that's my disclaimer. Oh and if you don't like spicy food... well I just don't understand you.

I got this recipe from this really awesome website I stumbled across a couple weeks ago and as soon as I found it I knew I had struck gold. It's called el Restaurante Mexicano and it's a huge collection of recipes and articles from the magazine with the same name. I guess this is a magazine geared toward food service people needing new recipes for their restaurants or something, so of course I feel like I'm privy to some super secret information by finding this website. Moohawhawhaw...

Ok, so I had some more poblano peppers to use and I came across a recipe for Tortilla Soup. The only thing it was missing, in my opinion, was chicken! So I went in search for a recipe for a good marinade for my chicken and I found another Tortilla Soup recipe and this time it had chicken and the marinade sounded very interesting and good. Personally, I liked the "soup part" of the first recipe better, so the soup I made is a fusion of these two recipes and I highly recommend it. The recipe I've attached below is my final recipe after melding these two together.

I started this soup by sauteing some onions in olive oil until they were soft and a tiny bit brown around the edges.

I then added the chicken broth, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, peppercorns, and poblano peppers. After bringing the soup to a low boil, I turned it back to a simmer and let it simmer for 1 hour.

In the meantime, I threw together some salsa fresca by combining 2 small tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, about a tablespoon of cilantro, about a tablespoon of lime juice, a tablespoon of hot sauce, some cumin, salt and pepper and pureed it in the food processor until smooth.

I also cut a small stack of corn tortillas into strips and deep fried them in some canola oil until golden brown. I hit those with some sea salt and set them aside for the final plating.

Right before the soup was done simmering, I sauteed the marinated chicken until just done and chopped it into small pieces. I tasted a small piece to see how this marinade turned out and it was really good. It had a sweetness and tanginess and it was exactly the flavor I wanted to add to this soup. Very good.

Once the soup was finished simmering, I stirred in 1 1/2 cups of the salsa fresca (which was exactly the amount I made) and the cooked chicken. I then removed the soup from the heat and seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, I ladled some soup into a bowl and topped it with some shredded muenster cheese (I didn't have Monterrey on hand), a few slices of fresh avocado, a small pile of the fried tortilla strips, some sour cream, and a sprig of cilantro. Yum! It was great and proved to be the perfect companion to a nice shot of chilled Patron. I hope you decide to make this if you're a fan of spicy food. Let me know what you think!


  1. Now that is called Deliciously cooked chicken. I'm going to try this one tonight. I'd learned and lot on cooking " delicious " chicken from Chicken Recipes

  2. Judy - thanks for the chicken recipes link! I'll definitely check that out for more ideas. Let me know how your soup turns out!

  3. Sounds delish as do some other recipes on your blog. I was aware of the restaurant's recipe site, but like the way you created your own recipe from the different sources, really making it yours. Am seriously disappointed you choose to share recipes as an image. In order to get a text file (the way I save my recipes), I have to manually type or handwrite out the recipe from your image since can't select/copy text from an image the way you can from a web page. I see in some cases the recipe perhaps can be found elsewhere online but not the case with recipes you've created. Ahhh, too much work for me.;-(((

  4. anonymous - You will be happy to know that I no longer share my recipes as images; that was something I did when I first started this blog and soon realized that the quality of the printout was not so good. I know just type the recipes into the post for ease of reading and printing out. i'm glad you like the chicken tortilla soup recpie and please stop back because if you like this recipe, you'll like many more on this site. Check out this recipe: http://tarathefoodie.blogspot.com/2008/06/chicken-wet-burritos.html

    My heart is in Southwestern cooking and I love heat in my food. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Yeaaa! I am indeed happy to hear you've abandoned the *image* method of sharing your recipes. I guess I did't go far enough. I happened to hit a few like that and got discouraged. Now I know to stick around and browse further. Thanks for the link. As it happens, I've been making that type of burrito for many a year, tho never heard it called *wet* burrito! LOL. So I learned something. My favorite version is simple: a seasoned refried bean burrito in flour tortilla, topped with lots of basic green chile sauce, and a pile of cheddar and or jack -- a quick pass under the broiler to get melty. Fast 'n easy way to get your SW-Tex-Mex fix -- and heaven to eat. Now I'm going to go look around to see whether you've explored poblano soups yet .... I'm a fan of this cuisine, too.

  6. What a great website! I just encountered it after googling "spicy chicken tortilla soup." I just read and printed out the recipe. I'm going to try it out over Thanksgiving! Thanks! The photos on your site are gorgeous, and the step-by-step instructions are also terrific!

    Torrance, Ca

  7. Just used your recipe, with slight variations (I added corn and chili powder). The soup was FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for the recipe.

    Torrance, CA

  8. Hi Pam - I'm glad you decided to make this soup. It really was one of the best soups I've ever made and I really like your addition of the corn - great idea! So are you going to make it for Thanksgiving!? Now that would be a change from the traditional, eh? And thanks so much for the compliments on the site - I really appreciate it!


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