Quick Tortilla Soup

DSC_0398RECIPE #465, DAY #641


ORIGINAL RECIPE: It’s in my first-ever recipe collection, but it came originally from Mills’ and Ross’ Desperation Dinners*

TIMING: 20 minutes


TOOLS: Soup pot and other normal kitchen things

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: This make a rather fine, super speedy, weeknight, family dinner. It is chock full of veggies and protein, and it goes down easy, even with kids. For bonus points, feel free to add a can of pinto or black beans to the pot and top it with a lime slaw with cilantro. You could omit the tortilla chips, but you would no longer call it “tortilla soup.”

DSC_0400EXPERIENCE: This is another recipe that we have been using for many years. And again, it lacks sophistication, perhaps, but it is a crowd-pleaser. Don’t look for it to be authentic. It’s just a great, tasty, and quick-to-make dinner for a busy night.

We used to make this soup vegetarian all the time. Just substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth, and add some seitan or even breaded Quorn right at the end.

NOTES: You can use other chicken, like thighs, for economy.

I use Herdez salsa, because it’s my absolute favorite. I at least recommend a simple salsa, containing just vegetables, salt, and an acid, and not anything fancy like black beans or pineapple.

You can use wheat or corn tortilla chips. I would suggest corn, just because I consider them to be a healthier option.

If you are a family that eats a lot, or if you are making just the soup, you may need to double this.


  1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 diced white onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Move the onion to the outside edges of the pan and add 2 diced chicken breasts. Brown for 1 minute.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 pressed clove garlic, 1 teaspoon chili powder, ¾ teaspoon cumin, and salt to taste. Stir until meat is cooked through.
  4. Add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup salsa, and 1 cup frozen corn. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  5. In each soup bowl, crush tortilla chips into the bottom and top with grated Monterrey Jack or Mexican melting cheese. Top with hot soup and serve right away.


Serve with a black bean salad. Really, for a quick dinner, the soup is all you need. Cilantro is always welcome as a garnish.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: This warms nicely, just add the chips and cheese after warmed.

*Recipe changed from the original.



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