One of my favorite things to order at Mexican or Southwestern restaurants is chicken tortilla soup – I love the combination of savory, rich flavors paired with wonderfully fresh ingredients. However, until recently, I had never made it at home. I had a major hankering for it the other day, but wasn’t in the mood to go out to a restaurant, so it was time to give a homemade version a try. Conveniently, a local restaurant, Mas Tacos Por Favor, was recently written up in Bon Appetit, + had provided the recipe for their super-popular chicken tortilla soup, so I gathered up all the ingredients, + set about making it.
This soup turned out absolutely AMAZING – it truly is the tastiest chicken tortilla soup I’ve ever had. It does take a couple hours’-worth of cooking, but it’s completely worth the time. The scratch-made broth is the star of the dish – amazingly savory + full of flavor, with a wonderful spicy bite from the dried chiles. The tender shredded chicken, the sweet charred corn + the tangy queso fresco work beautifully against the rich avocado, the bite of the tomatoes, + the crunch of tortilla strips. Plus, this recipe makes quite a bit of soup, + like most soups/stews, the leftovers get even tastier after a day in the fridge. I will absolutely be making this amazing soup again soon!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 4-pound chicken, rinsed
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, peeled, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 dried chipotle chiles
1 jalapeño (with seeds), halved lengthwise
7 cilantro sprigs
3 tablespoons (or more, to taste) fresh lime juice
kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil (for frying)
5 corn tortillas, cut in 1/2′-thick strips
2 ears of husked corn, or 2 cups frozen, thawed corn kernels
For serving: chopped fresh cilantro, halved cherry tomatoes, avocado wedges, queso fresco or mild feta
special equipment: a deep-fry thermometer (for frying the tortilla strips)
Bring chicken, onion, carrot, garlic, chipotles, jalapeño, and 16 cups water to a boil in a large pot; skim foam from surface. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, skimming the surface frequently, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.
Transfer chicken to a plate. Strain broth into another large pot. Return chiles to broth, if a spicier broth is desired; discard remaining solids. Shred chicken meat; discard skin and bones. Transfer chicken meat to a medium bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, set pot with strained broth over medium heat and add cilantro sprigs. Bring broth to a simmer; cook until reduced to 8 cups, about 1 hour. Discard sprigs and chiles, if using. Stir in 3 Tbsp. lime juice. Season with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired. Add chicken to broth. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled.
Attach deep-fry thermometer to the side of a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy skillet. Pour oil into skillet to a depth of 1″. Heat over medium heat until thermometer registers 350°–360°. Working in batches, fry tortilla strips, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, 2–3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with salt.
Cook corn over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning occasionally, until charred in spots. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut kernels from cobs in strips. Discard cobs. (Alternatively, cook kernels in a large skillet over high heat until charred in spots.)
Rewarm broth with chicken. Divide soup among bowls. Top generously with corn, tortilla strips, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, and crumbled queso fresco.print this recipe