Chicken Tortilla Soup with Black Beans, Chilis, and Fried Tortilla Strips.
I’m not sure it’s even possible to pack this Chicken Tortilla Soup with more flavor. Roasted chicken and black beans are simmered in a spicy red chili broth flavored with garlic, onions, oregano, and cumin, then topped with fried tortilla strips, avocado, lime, and cilantro. An easy, mouthwatering weeknight meal.
This chicken tortilla soup is easily one of my family’s favorite soups and one of the best ways I can think of to use up leftover enchilada sauce, roast chicken, and black beans. Every spoonful is packed with a ridiculous amount of flavor. Plus, it comes together in a flash, making it a perfect weeknight meal.
Also, I think this soup is even better the next day after all those flavors have a chance to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. In other words, when it comes to chicken tortilla soup, leftovers are your friend.
Chicken Tortilla Soup Shortcuts and Substitutions
If you’re making this soup as a part of this Weekly Meal Plan, you likely have some leftover enchilada sauce, black beans, and roast chicken in your refrigerator, and some leftover corn tortillas in your pantry. If not, no problem.
The recipe includes instructions for roasting a couple of chicken breasts or thighs, or you could just pick up a rotisserie chicken at your local market. Use canned enchilada sauce in place of leftover homemade enchilada sauce and canned black beans instead of slow simmered black beans. You can also replace the fried corn tortilla strips with a handful of tortilla chips.
Weekly Meal Plans that include Chicken Tortilla Soup:Print
Roasted chicken and black beans are simmered in a spicy red chili broth flavored with garlic, onions, oregano, and cumin, then topped with fried tortilla strips, avocado, lime, and cilantro. An easy, mouthwatering weeknight meal.
- 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed
- 1 – 2 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (depending on how spicy you like your soup)
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup red enchilada sauce, reserved from chicken enchilada bake, or from a can
- 8 cups chicken broth
- Vegetable oil, approximately 2 cups
- 10 – 15 corn tortillas
- One 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups homemade black beans – or canned black beans
- About 20 oz. roasted chicken, shredded – OR – bone in split chicken breasts or chicken thighs (see note at end of recipe)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Diced avocado
- Chopped cilantro
- Cotija cheese, crumbled, or shredded Monterey Jack
- Lime wedges
- Minced jalapeño
- Sour cream
MAKE THE SOUP BROTH:
- Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, chipotle, oregano, and cumin to a blender or a food processor and blend into a slightly chunky paste.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion mixture, turn down the heat to medium, and sauté until the mixture begins to darken in color – about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the enchilada sauce and chicken broth, and bring back to a simmer.
- Allow to simmer, partially covered, for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors.
FRY THE TORTILLA STRIPS:
- While the soup cooks, line a baking sheet with paper towels and set near the stove along with a small dish of salt.
- Pour enough vegetable oil into a large skillet to come up the sides of the pan about 1-inch, and place over hight heat. Cut the corn tortillas in into strips about 1/2 inch wide.
- Add a small piece of corn tortilla into the hot oil to see if it’s hot enough; if it immediately begins to sizzle, with bubbles of oils forming all around it, the oil is hot enough.
- Fry the tortilla strips in the hot oil in a couple of batches, being careful to not over crowd the pan. When the strips are a deep golden brown, carefully remove them from the hot oil with tongs and immediately sprinkle with some salt.
FINISH THE SOUP:
- Add the diced tomatoes, shredded chicken, and black beans. Cook about 5 minutes to warm all the ingredients.
- Serve the soup alongside fried tortilla strips and garnishes, allowing everyone to top their soup with whatever toppings they like.
As an alternative to using leftover roasted chicken in this chicken tortilla soup, you can use approximately 20 oz. bone-in chicken breasts or thighs instead. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the chicken in a baking dish, skin side up, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and brush with a tablespoon or two of melted butter. Roast the chicken until an instant read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165. Let the chicken rest until it’s cool enough to handle, then peel the meat from the bones, shred, and add to the chicken tortilla soup.
Chipotle in adobo sauce is generally pretty spicy stuff. If you and your family or dinner guests have a low tolerance to heat, use the minimum amount of chipotle peppers. If you love spicy food, go ahead and add 2, if not 3, tablespoons of chipotle. Another consideration is how spicy the enchilada sauce that you’re using is. If it’s pretty spicy, use less chipotle peppers. If very mild, use more.