Chicken Tortilla Soup - Restaurant Style

"I developed this recipe (over time) after I had a bowl just like this in a restaurant. It is a favorite that I return to again and again. My version is a bit healthier than a typical restaurant since I bake my tortilla strips. Anyone following the South Beach Diet will recognize this would be a good phase two meal. (When it comes to the spice blend I have used anything from Pampered Chef's Southwest Seasoning to the Spicy Taco Seasoning from Gordon Food Service. I have also made my own blend using pinches chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano and cilantro until I have about 1 Tablespoon). Finally, when it comes to the shredded cheese I have used several different kinds (whatever I have in the house) and it still turns out terrific."
photo by Foodie Friend photo by Foodie Friend
photo by Foodie Friend
Ready In:




  • Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and cook diced chicken pieces for 5 minutes, stirring often so they don't get brown - remove chicken and set aside.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in the same large soup pot over medium heat and add onion cook for 1 minute stirring often.
  • Press 2 cloves of garlic into the pot over the onions and cook for another minute - continue stirring so the onions and garlic do not brown.
  • Add the two cans of green chilies and cook for another minute.
  • Add the cooked chicken, refried beans and broth (I buy broth by the carton and measure the broth by filling the empty refried bean can) - blend this mixture well.
  • Add 1 Tablespoon of southwest seasoning and 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or your favorite) - simmer soup on medium low heat until heated through. At this point the soup is ready, but if you simmer on low heat for another 15 - 30 minutes it will give the seasoning a chance to blend well.
  • While the soup is simmering preheat oven to 350 and cut the tortillas into very thin strips using a pizza cutter - when watching carbs I use 1/2 tortilla per person.
  • Place tortilla strips 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 4 pinches of salt in a ziplock bag and shake well.
  • Spread into 1 layer on cookie sheet spayed with oil (make the strips in shapes rather than all of them be completely flat) and bake for 5 - 7 minutes. (I have also toasted these in a large frying pan if you prefer method).
  • This recipe makes four hearty 2 1/2 cup portions - Ladle soup into bowls, garnish each bowl with tortilla strips, 1/8 cup of shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a few cilantro leaves. (Serving Idea: I have also served this soup with cheese quesadillas).

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I love my husband, my cat, theology, food, wine, high-tech gadgets, and cooking. I also read cookbooks and cooking magazines like some people read novels. I am sure other foodies will relate;-)
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