With its spicy, garlicky, tomatoey broth, chunks of chicken, and garnishes galore, not to mention a buried treasure of crispy tortilla strips underneath it all, tortilla soup aims to please. While traditional Mexican recipes start with homemade stock, there’s so much flavor in this soup that you can start with store-bought broth and still create a great soup.
This soup requires chicken meat, so the first step is to poach the chicken in the chicken broth. At the same time, we infuse the store-bought broth with more character by adding onion, garlic, cilantro, and oregano to the pot. Once the chicken is cooked, the aromatics are strained out and discarded. What’s left is broth that has been transformed by their flavor (as well as the flavor of the chicken pieces).
Once the broth and poached chicken are ready, the soup is fairly easy to make. Corn tortillas are cut into strips, lightly oiled, and then baked until crisp. As for the vegetables, we puree tomatoes, more onion, more garlic, and more chiles in the food processor and then sauté this mixture in a pot until fragrant and darkened. The strained broth is added to the pot and after 15 minutes our tortilla soup is ready to serve.
This soup is assembled in individual bowls: first crisp tortilla strips, next the broth and chicken, followed by garnishes; We like crumbled Mexican Cotija cheese, avocado, Mexican crema or sour cream, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and minced chile.
Total Cooking Time: 90
Preparation Time: 30
Active Cooking Time: 60
Make Ahead: Serve immediately
Yield: 6 to 8 servings