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4.5 from 4 votes

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Authentic chicken tortilla soup (sopa de tortilla con pollo) - shredded chicken in a rich and spicy tomato broth balanced with avocado, crema or sour cream with tortilla strips added for crunch.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, soup, tomato, tortilla soup
Servings: 6 bowls
Calories: 918kcal
Author: Douglas Cullen


  • 12 ozs. uncooked chicken breast
  • 3 cups chicken broth saved from when you cooked the chicken
  • 2 lbs. roma tomatoes
  • 1 medium white onion sliced in half
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 morita chile
  • 2 small avocados or one large ripe but not mushy
  • 4 ozs sour cream or crema
  • 8 corn tortillas to make tortilla strips or 3 cups of pre-made tortilla strips
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt + to taste
  • 6 tbsp cooking oil


Preparing the Chicken Breast

  • Place your chicken breast in a pot with 4 cups cold water the white onion and 2 cloves of garlic.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and allow to cool.
  • Shred the chicken into thin strips about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long.
  • Reserve the cooking liquid.

Preparing the Tomato Broth

  • First, remove the stem and the seeds from the morita chile.
  • Blend the roma tomatoes, clove of garlic, morita chile and 3 cups chicken broth. Blend in 2 batches.
  • After you have blended the ingredients, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to medium hot in a pot. Pour the soup base into the hot oil. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Simmer the broth for 30 minutes until it takes on a deep red color and has reduced approximately 1 inch.
  • Add the salt and adjust as needed. The broth should seem slightly salty. When you add all of the other soup ingredients it will reduce the saltiness a bit.

Making the Tortilla Strips

  • Cut the tortillas into 1/4” to 1/2” strips.
  • Preheat 4 tablespoons of cooking oil to medium hot in a wide frying pan.
  • Place the tortilla strips in the hot oil. Let them fry for a few seconds and then turn to coat the remaining tortilla strips in oil.
  • Keep turning the tortilla strips until they are golden brown. Keep a close eye on them so that they don't burn.
  • Remove from the pan and drain the tortilla strips on napkins or paper towels to remove any excess cooking oil.

Serving the Soup

  • Pour approximately 1 cup of the tomato broth into a wide shallow bowl.
  • Add shredded chicken.
  • Top with generous dollop of sour cream or crema.
  • Add a few chunks of avocado to the bowl.
  • Top with a tortilla strips and serve immediately.


  • If you are unable to find morita chiles you can substitute 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo. Canned chipotles are available in the Hispanic section of most grocery stores.
  • Many people like their tortilla soup with a squirt of lime. Give it a try if a little lime sounds good.


Calories: 918kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 104g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 299mg | Sodium: 923mg | Potassium: 2581mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1610IU | Vitamin C: 34.8mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 3.2mg