Chicken or Turkey Tortilla Soup

There many types of chicken tortilla soup types and they can be made as simply or complicated as you’d like. It all starts with the broth base, and there are a few directions you can go: poultry broth, tomato, creamy, and a few other variations I can’t think of right now. I’m a fan of a poultry-based broth, preferably homemade turkey stock.

And then there’s the meat. I love the versatility of this soup. I use whatever kind of poultry I have available. Sometimes I use leftover rotisserie chicken or roasted turkey. Sometimes I use a whole fryer chicken, cook it in the broth, and then shred the meat before serving. Sometimes I use chicken thighs that I cut into chunks before cooking. It all depends on my mood and what I’ve got on hand. The big thing to consider is that your meat needs to be cooked through before serving and you don’t want to overcook your meat. Overall, I aim for at least 20-30 minutes of boil/simmer time.

If starting with pre-cooked meat, give the broth 15-20 minutes to boil/simmer before adding the meat. Then, add your meat and simmer for only a few minutes before serving.

If starting with raw meat, add the meat to the broth as soon as it gets to a boil, and cook together for at least 20 minutes until the meat is cooked through. If you’re using big pieces of meat, like a whole fryer chicken, you may want to remove the meat after cooking, shred it, and then add it back to the soup.

Ingredients for the soup

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 corn tortilla, ripped up into small pieces
  • 6-8 cups of chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 lb. chicken or turkey, either raw or precooked (e.g. rotisserie chicken or leftover Thanksgiving turkey)
  • 1 cup frozen fire roasted corn

Ingredients for serving

  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • 1 avocado, sliced or chopped to your liking
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese

Heat your soup pot to medium. Add the olive oil and let it get warm. Add the onion, poblano peppers, carrots, and celery to the pot. Sauté the veggies for 5-10 minutes until soft and only slightly brown on the edges. Add the garlic, oregano, thyme, chili powder, red pepper flakes, a few shakes fresh ground black pepper, and the ripped up corn tortilla. Cook for another minute or so.

Add the chicken or turkey stock and bring to a boil.

  • If you’re using raw meat, add it now, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
  • If you’re using pre-cooked meat, let the broth simmer for 15-20 minutes before adding the meat and simmering for a few minutes.

Once your soup has simmered for 20-30 minutes total, your meat is cooked all of the way through, and you’ve shredded any meat that you wanted to, add in the frozen fire roasted corn. Taste the broth and add salt & pepper to your liking. Simmer for another 2-5 minutes.

When you’re ready to serve, let people add the serving ingredients to their bowls to their liking.