Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tonight I needed to clean a few things out of the kitchen.  I had some left over roast chicken and some veggies.  I had intended to make a chicken noodle soup because Susan’s over at SGCC looked so good.  Then I noticed some chips and salsa that had magically appeared on the counter, and decided to spice things up a little.  This is an easy soup – done in an hour.  It needs no blending and no straining, just some chopping and simmering.  The amount of chicken you put in is very flexible.  I didn’t have a lot left – just scraps off two breasts. This soup stretched it beautifully.  More chicken certainly wouldn’t hurt, but it’s not a necessity.  This disappeared pretty quickly, so I’d say it must be acceptably tasty.  The soup is warm and tangy.  I’d suggest serving this with a sprinkle of cheese and maybe a dollop of sour cream.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup


  • Left over chicken with bones, enough to produce 1 C of roughly chopped meat
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 T parsley, chopped
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 handfuls tortilla chips, crushed
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 T hot sauce
  • 2 T chopped cilantro
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • extra virgin olive oil
Cut most of the chicken away from the bones, removing whatever comes away easily.  Place the remaining bones with scraps of meat still attached in a heavy stock pot.  Cover the bones with water, and place on the stove.  Bring to a boil.  While the water heats, chop the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.  Add the bay leaves and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper and soy sauce.  Let this simmer for 45-50 minutes.  Then, add the crushed tortilla chips, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes, stirring to mix the paste into the broth.  Add some sugar to cut the tang of the canned tomatoes. Season with coriander, cumin, chili powder, and oregano.  Let this simmer another 5-10 minutes.  Remove the chicken bones and discard.  Stir in the hot sauce.  Serve with fresh cilantro sprinkled on top and a mound of crushed tortilla chips in the center of the bowl.  Drizzle the soup with a bit of olive oil and serve.
Serves 2-4.

3 thoughts on “Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. Soup is the best thing for cleaning out the pantry or refrigerator, isn’t it? If you can find related items and toss them together in a soup, you can give it a cool name as well. I am certain that is where half the common soups of today were invented this way — but that does not stop them from being great!

  2. @ Erik – it really is! I am often too lazy to make soup because it “takes to much time.” That, and I don’t have a hand blender, so I skip all the blended soups out there.

    @ Kelly – it’s definitely easy. I’m not sure how it reheats, since it all disappeared. 🙂

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