Entrees, Sides, Soups

Broth-Based Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Last updated on March 5th, 2022 at 12:31 pm

A bowl of this soup is a flavorful take on the ultimate comfort food. Made with broth, shredded chicken, black beans, and a combination of spices, it’s as hearty as it is tasty. This chicken tortilla soup is a delicious and filling meal that will warm you up on chilly nights.

Chicken soup is good for the soul. And this is basically the southwest version of chicken noodle soup.

Soup served into bowls from a large pot

When it comes to making chicken tortilla soup, it’s a simple dish but we add complexity with some of the spices mixed in.

Once the soup is made, you can serve it up with an array of different options for topping your bowl. So everyone can personalize to their own tastes.

This delicious recipe is a hearty, savory soup that uses chicken broth to create a flavorful base, but then adds plenty of other ingredients to create a truly one-of-a-kind taste.

Using the Best Chicken Stock

To make a great broth-based soup, you need to start with the best chicken stock. The best chicken stock will yield a rich flavor and texture. The best stock will add depth and complexity to any recipe.

A homemade soup stock made from chicken bones is much more flavorful than a store-bought, ready-made variety. The only downside is the time and effort to make the stock yourself – which can actually be a decent amount of work.

But if you’re like me, then you will enjoy the process. You just need to make sure that you take your time and don’t rush the cooking.

Chicken stock is the first step in the process of making a good soup. It’s what gives the soup body and flavor. I tend to make large batches of chicken stock with frozen rotisserie chicken bones. I’ll keep a few containers in the fridge for upcoming recipes and then freeze the rest to use later. It freezes amazingly.

And then I make this lime chicken tortilla soup with some defrosted homemade stock.

Key Flavors for Chicken Tortilla Soup

To keep your soup flavorful and interesting, we focus on a few key flavors – like fresh cilantro, garlic, lime, and chili powder.

Be sure to use fresh limes to cook up this recipe. They make such a difference with their acidic citrusy punch of flavor.

There are a lot of things that go into chicken tortilla soup, but the one thing that makes the biggest difference is the chicken. I ended up cooking some chicken breast in my slow cooker with chicken stock, chipotle powder, and a few other ingredients. I may end up posting that recipe itself soon and linking it here.

A bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with radish, tortilla strips, sour cream, and cheese

But you can use whatever chopped or shredded chicken that you’d like.

Cumin, chipotle powder, and smoked paprika help round out the flavors in the soup. I strongly suggest using high-quality smoked paprika over regular paprika. But I absolutely love smoky flavors, so maybe it isn’t your kind of thing. In that case, switch it out.

Optional Soup Mix-Ins

I’ve included some of my favorite soup mix-ins and toppings in the recipe below, but feel free to play around with them and experiment.

There are several things you can add to your chicken tortilla soup to mix it up. Try adding any to the soup after pouring in the broth:

  • Corn
  • Pinto beans
  • Chorizo
  • Salsa
  • Hot Sauce
  • Jalapenos
Strips of tortilla are brushed with oil and cooked to add to the chicken tortilla soup

And after the soup has finished cooking, you can top it with the homemade tortilla strips, avocado, sour cream, and cheese. You can also serve any of the following:

  • Queso fresco
  • Jalapenos
  • Hot sauce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

The next time you’re in the mood for a delicious soup, think about making a chicken tortilla soup at home! It’s a great way to make a hearty meal with little effort and a lot of flavor.

How did yours turn out?

I’d love to hear when you try out this southwest chicken tortilla soup! Take a pic of your food and share your success with me by adding it to your Instagram stories or feed, and tagging me @doyouroux, or by using #doyouroux.

Plus, leave a rating to let me know how you liked the recipe. It helps me out a lot to know how things worked out… or didn’t.

Broth-Based Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup

Recipe by Marc PetersonCourse: SoupsDifficulty: Easy

8 to 10

Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



A savory broth filled with chicken, tomatoes, and black beans that is seasoned to perfection with peppers, lime, garlic, and cumin


  • Soup
  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 small yellow onion

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chiles

  • 8 cups chicken stock

  • 2 and 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken

  • 15 ounce can black beans

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder

  • Tortilla Strips
  • 5 small corn or flour tortillas

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • Toppings
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • Sliced avocado

  • Sour cream

  • Sliced radish

  • Chopped green cabbage

  • Lime wedges


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
  • Mince the garlic and cilantro, and chop the onion
  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat
  • Add in the garlic and onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant
  • Dump in the can of tomatoes and green chiles, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the broth and all remaining soup ingredients
  • Cover the pot with a lid and simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes
  • While the soup simmers, slice the tortillas into 1/2-inch strips
  • Lay the tortilla strips out in a single layer on a baking sheet, brush them with the oil, and sprinkle them with a bit of salt
  • Put the tortilla strips into the oven for about ten minutes until lightly browned and crisp, flipping over after 5 minutes – note that flour tortillas tend to crisp faster than corn
  • Remove the soup from the heat and serve with cooked tortilla strips and other desired toppings

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