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+ servings

Tortilla Soup

In one bowl of this Best Tortilla Soup is everything I have ever loved about Mexican food.
Servings 10
Author Rebecca Lindamood


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 quart jar crushed tomatoes or 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked black beans I simmered mine with a smoked pork neck bone but you can use drained, rinsed, canned beans.
  • 4-5 cups cooked This is the equivalent of 5 chicken breast halves on the bone roasted and picked., leftover chicken shredded or cubed
  • 10 cups chicken stock I used homemade garlic chile chicken stock but you can use purchased chicken stock and increase the garlic by 3 cloves.
  • 6 ounces tomato paste Optional. Add if you like a thicker soup.
  • 1-2 fresh jalapenos or 1-4 tablespoons candied jalapenos or jarred jalapenos, minced, minced , to taste
  • 4-8 corn tortillas minced These are going to thicken the soup, so add the smaller amount first. Add more if you want to thicken up the soup more.
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons oregano
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus some for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish all optional:
  • hot cooked rice
  • avocado slices
  • sour cream
  • grated cheese
  • corn tortillas cut into strips thick or thin or both, fried and salted**
  • corn chips
  • more fresh cilantro
  • chopped green onions
  • lime wedges to squeeze in soup


  • In big heavy pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and a pinch of salt and sweat until semi-translucent. Add tomatoes, stock, chili powder and oregano and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add beans, chicken, jalapeno, and minced tortillas and return to a boil. Drop heat to mid-low and simmer another 10 minutes. Test the thickness and seasoning of the soup. If you want it thicker, add more minced corn tortillas. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. You may find you need to add quite a bit of salt, but add it in small increments. It's always easier to add salt than it is to take it out! Continue simmering for about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Serve with desired garnishes.
  • *Ungarnished leftovers can be portioned into serving size containers and frozen for future meals.
  • **To make fried tortilla strips: Add about 1-inch of canola or peanut oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Heat it over medium-high heat. Slice desired amount of corn tortillas into strips, thick or thin according to preference. Drop one strip of tortilla in to the oil. If bubbles form immediately around the edges and it appears to be boiling, the oil is ready. Drop a handful of tortilla strips into the oil and stir to separate. Fry about 1-2 minutes then use tongs to transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and seasonings if desired.