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How to make incredible chicken tortilla soup in less than 15 minutes

Have this delicious winter favorite on the table in less time than it takes to decide on take-out

Chicken tortilla soup
Lindsay Parrill/The Manual

There are easy recipes, and then there are recipes so easy they’re almost embarrassing. The recipes we don’t like to share, not because they’re sacredly documented only in some preciously bound family recipe book, but because we hate to admit how little work went into something so delicious. This is one of those recipes.

Chicken tortilla soup is a classic, a favorite of many, and a staple of wintertime cuisine. Its spicy Mexican flavors and hearty, rich chicken and vegetable savoriness make it the perfect meal to curl up with after a long, chilly day. The problem with many soups, though, is that after that long, tiresome, chilly day, we aren’t always in the mood to labor over the stove, prepping and dicing, sauteing and simmering that pot of soup. Enter this recipe. With one quick and simple trick, you can have beautifully spiced, velvety chicken tortilla soup on the table in less than 15 minutes.

The trick is simple. In a large pot, combine chicken stock, enchilada sauce, and tortillas (either flour or corn will work; we prefer flour for this recipe), and bring to a boil. At this point, the tortillas will have softened enough to be blendable. Using either a regular or immersion blender, blend these ingredients together for a rich and savory, perfectly thickened chicken tortilla soup broth. At this point, all you have to do is add the rest of the ingredients and warm them through. Bam. Perfectly delicious homemade chicken tortilla soup.

This recipe also uses the cheat of a store-bought rotisserie chicken, which we love for many chicken soup recipes. We like to buy a few at a time, shred them when they’re still warm from the store, and keep the shredded chicken in zip-top bags in the fridge to use all week.

Chicken tortilla soup recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
  • 4 10″ flour tortillas, torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional garnishes:

  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced jalapeno
  • Shredded cabbage

Method

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine stock, enchilada sauce, and torn tortillas, bring to a boil.
  2. Using a regular or immersion blender, blend the stock and tortilla mixture until smooth, and return to the pot.
  3. With the soup on medium heat, add beans, corn, chicken, green onion, and lime juice, and cook until warmed through.

Chicken tortilla soup tips and tricks

  • This soup can be thickened using either flour or corn tortillas. We prefer flour in this recipe as it creates a silkier texture to the broth. Corn, though, is a great choice as well and will provide a slightly grainier, rustic texture to the soup, which is equally delicious.
  • Using store-bought enchilada sauce in this recipe is another great time saver as it already includes spices like onion, garlic, and peppers, but feel free to add any additional ingredients you like.

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Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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