Chicken tortilla soup is my go-to easy meal – we have it for dinner nearly every week. It’s a quick meal to prepare and a great way to use up leftover chicken and veggies in your fridge. My kids love this soup, too. I think it’s because they love to choose their toppings and get a kick out of eating the cheese off the plate faster than I can shred it. For the ultimate in deliciousness, you’ll want to be sure to have cilantro, avocado, and pepper-jack cheese on hand – those are the can’t live without toppings, in my opinion.
As I mentioned, I like to use leftover chicken to speed along dinner preparations – roasted chicken or grilled works great – simply cut it into bite-size pieces and toss it into the soup during the last 10-minutes of cooking to heat it through. I also homemade chicken stock to cut down on extra sodium. And if I’m lucky enough to have jars of home-canned tomatoes in the pantry, those go in the pot, too!
I love crushed red pepper in the soup to give it some spice – if the kids are eating the soup, I tone it down some – the longer you simmer, the more heat the soup picks up from the spice. Topping the soup with pepper-jack cheese is amazing! But you can use any kind of cheese you like – jack is great, mozarella, even cheddar if that’s what you have available!
For a heartier soup, I like to throw in a potato and top with tortilla chips, but we ate this soup often when I couldn’t eat any grains or starchy vegetables, and it’s still delicious without the potato and chips!
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, juice included
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 zucchini, peeled, and sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces (2 chicken breasts)
- 1 avocado
- tortilla chips
- shredded pepper-jack cheese (or cheese of choice)
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat.
- Add onions and saute, about 5 minutes.
- When onions are translucent, add garlic and saute 1 min. longer.
- Add broth, tomatoes, potato, zucchini, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
- Simmer over med-low heat for 20 minutes. Add chicken and heat 5-10 minutes longer.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Top with shredded cheese, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, and fresh cilantro.
- Serve immediately.
- Chips can alternately be served on the side to avoid becoming soggy in the broth.
I hope you love this recipe as much as our family does!