Tortilla Soup Recipe
with Chicken

Can Also Be Vegetarian Soup Recipe

Favorite Restaurant Soup Recipe

This Tortilla Soup Recipe has been a favorite restaurant soup recipe for many years.

Every time this tortilla soup is featured on the restaurant's special sheet, we sell out. Everyone seems to love this soup! The restaurant employees may be responsible for some of the soup disappearing. They love it, too.

This hearty, nutritious chicken tortilla soup recipe is popular on warm spring days as well as cold winter nights.

Even though most of the restaurant guests prefer having the chicken as part of the tortilla soup recipe, if you wish to make this a vegetarian soup recipe it is very good that way, too. All you have to do is leave out the chicken and chicken stock (or base) and use vegetable stock or base in place of the other ingredient.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Favorite Restaurant Soup Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder if you don't have Ancho)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, peeled and seeded (wear disposable latex gloves - peppers can burn you)
  • 1/4 bunch washed and chopped cilantro + 1/2 cup more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups canned, drained, squeezed tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken stock or water (if using water, add 2 1/2 tablespoons of chicken base)
  • 12 ounces cooked, chopped chicken (or turkey)
  • 2/3 cup corn masa mixed with water (available in most grocery super markets or Mexican grocery stores) (or use 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with water until smooth, adding only enough to thicken soup to correct consistency)
  • Chopped avocado for garnish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

For garnishes:

Fried flour or corn tortilla strips (about seven 6 inch tortillas - you can use different colored tortillas if you wish). Sour cream ...if you wish. Avocado pieces ...if you wish.

Option:  Bake tortillas in a preheated 400 degree F oven on a baking pan in single layer for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Option: Use crumbled tortilla chips from the store (again, you may use two or three different colored chips)

  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese or a mix of grated cheddar and Monterrey Jack (or your choice)
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (as noted above) chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges to squeeze into soup (optional)


  • Cut tortillas into narrow strips and fry in hot oil until crisp or bake in oven (as noted above)
  • If fried, drain the tortilla strips on paper towels and set aside until serving the soup
  • Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large soup pot
  • When oil is hot, add onions and saute' until half cooked, then add garlic and saute' until onions are soft
  • Raise the heat to medium or medium-high, add chili powder, cumin, crushed red pepper, jalapenos, cilantro, and tomatoes
  • Saute' until tomatoes are soft (when mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low to keep the mixture simmering)
  • Add chicken stock and bring to a boil
  • Add cooked, chopped chicken and the masa/water mixture and bring to a boil
  • Lower heat and simmer to thicken tortilla soup

To serve: Put crisp tortilla strips into a soup bowl and ladle the soup over them or top the soup with them and with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.

If you wish to have guests serve themselves, just allow them to ladle their soup into a bowl and use the garnishes they prefer.

If you wish to serve at the table, use a tureen and ladle meant for the table and then allow the guests to garnish according to their desires.

Enjoy your tortilla soup recipe and the company of those you share it with!


“One whiff of a savory aromatic soup and appetites come to attention.  The steaming fragrance of a tempting soup is a prelude to the goodness to come.  An inspired soup puts family and guests in a receptive mood for enjoying whatever else may come.”

Louis P. De Gouy