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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Max & Erma's Chicken Tortilla Soup - Sue's Original Clone Recipe
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    Max & Erma's Chicken Tortilla Soup - Sue's Original Clone

    Max & Erma's  Chicken Tortilla Soup - Sue's Original Clone. Photo by Knockaderry

    1/2 Photos of Max & Erma's Chicken Tortilla Soup - Sue's Original Clone

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    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    2 hrs 30 mins

    30 mins

    2 hrs

    Sue S.'s Note:

    In 2001 I attempted to duplicate Max & Erma's (well-known mid-west restaurant chain) chicken tortilla soup. It elicits favorable compliments every time that I serve it. Rather than prepare a time-consuming cream/milk base, I chose to use condensed soups. With the addition of the other ingredients, the end result is a tasty, spicy, flavorful southwestern soup.

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    Units: US | Metric

    • 2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
    • 2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
    • 2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans Campbell's condensed cream of celery soup
    • 2 (10 3/4 ounce) cans Campbell's cheddar cheese soup
    • 2 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
    • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 1 cup picante salsa (Pace brand medium hot)
    • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can green chilies (Ortega brand)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon red new mexico chile powder (NOTE -- This is not the same as ordinary red chili powder. It can often be found in specialty foods)
    • salt and pepper, to your taste
    • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 4 cooked chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
    • 10 flour tortillas
    • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
    • 1/2 lb colby cheese


    1. 1
      In a large (8-10 quart) stockpot combine and whisk together until smooth all eight cans of soup.
    2. 2
      Add chicken broth. Add tomatoes, salsa, green chiles, onion, garlic, chile powder, salt and pepper. Bring all ingredients to a full boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
    3. 3
      Add cilantro and chicken breast chunks. Simmer another hour.
    4. 4
      While soup is simmering, make your soup toppings: Cut flour tortillas into small thin strips. Heat oil and deep fry tortilla strips until lightly browned. Shred cheese.
    5. 5
      To serve: Ladle soup into bowls, top with shredded cheese and fried tortilla strips.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on January 31, 2007


      This is an excellent clone (I live 5 minutes from a Max and Erma's, so I am well versed in this soup). It was a little salty for my tastes, so next time I will probably omit the cream of mushroom, and double up on the cream of chicken soup.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on September 21, 2013


      OMW! I wish I could have rated it beyond 5 stars because this recipe this that fantastic. I cut it in half because I wasn't sure if everyone in my family would like it and even my daughter (who's extremely picky) loved it. I added a pinch of cayenne pepper in error (I was working on two recipes at the same time) but it didn't alter the flavor. Then, with some of the tortilla strips that I had left over, I deep fried them and rolled them in granulated sugar, cinnamon and brown sugar! Then my husband topped them with honey and chocolate syrup. :)

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on April 13, 2013

      I love this! Great Duplication! You can even make it low fat!

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (26)


    Nutritional Facts for Max & Erma's Chicken Tortilla Soup - Sue's Original Clone

    Serving Size: 1 (306 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 12

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 638.9
    Calories from Fat 436
    Total Fat 48.4 g
    Saturated Fat 11.6 g
    Cholesterol 58.2 mg
    Sodium 1691.2 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 29.7 g
    Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
    Sugars 4.2 g
    Protein 22.0 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    picante salsa

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