Chicken Tortilla Soup

Recipe by Toby Jermain
READY IN: 1hr 45mins




  • Chicken and Broth: Toast corn tortillas in a 350 degrees F oven until crisp and lightly browned.
  • Cool slightly, and break into large pieces.
  • Combine chicken breasts, tortilla pieces, and remaining ingredients in a large kettle over medium heat, and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a full boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 45 minutes, skimming the surface as needed and stirring several times.
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the kettle, and cool until you can skin them and pull the meat from the bones.
  • Set the meat aside, and return the skin and bones to the kettle, return to a vigorous simmer, and cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Reserve and shred or coarsely chop 1-1/2 cups (12 oz) of the chicken, reserving the rest for another use.
  • Strain the broth into a bowl, discarding the bones, skin, and vegetables.
  • Set the broth aside for 5-10 minutes to allow fat to rise to top, and skim off as much as you can.
  • Place broth in freezer for 30 minutes, and skim off the solidified fat.
  • Refrigerate chicken and broth separately until you are ready to finish making the soup just before serving.
  • Before serving the soup, you need to make a serious choice.
  • Do you want a lot more flavor and better texture, or do you want less fat?
  • If you opt for flavor, fry the tortilla strips until crisp, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • If you want low-fat, bake them until crisp, but they will get soggy within seconds of being dropped into the soup.
  • Your choice!
  • Soup and Garnish: To serve the soup, bring broth to a boil, add chicken, and simmer until chicken is heated through.
  • Divide the cilantro, avocado, chopped green onions, and half of the tortilla strips between four large bowls.
  • Strain shredded chicken from broth, and divide between bowls.
  • Fill each bowl with broth, and sprinkle with a few more tortilla strips.
  • Serve immediately, with remaining tortilla strips and lime wedges for garnish.
  • Tell your guests to squeeze a little lime juice into the soup before eating to add an extra layer of flavor.