ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Tortilla Soup

David Prince
Total time 1 hr

Makes about 4 1/2 qts. (serving size: 1 cup)

The charm of this Tortilla Soup lies in the toppings, which guests can customize to their liking. This soup recipe is a simple, yet popular weeknight dinner favorite that will never disappoint on a chilly winter evening. It's the perfect touch of spice to add some excitement to your dinner routine. This soup can be as rich or as simple as you want it to be.  It can be made as a crock pot soup recipe or with a regular large soup pot. 


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 12 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 package (8 oz.) small corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-in.-thick strips (see Notes)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-in.-thick strips
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, additional chopped cilantro, and/or sliced green onions for topping

Nutrition Information

  • calories 142
  • caloriesfromfat 26 %
  • protein 15 g
  • fat 4.1 g
  • satfat 0.6 g
  • carbohydrate 11 g
  • fiber 1.5 g
  • sodium 960 mg
  • cholesterol 29 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a large pot (at least 5 qts.) over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in two-thirds of the garlic, 1 tbsp. salt, cumin, and chile flakes and cook 2 minutes.

  2. Add broth, tomatoes, and half the lime juice and increase heat to a gentle simmer; cook 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, pour about 1 in. of vegetable oil into a small frying pan set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add one-third of the tortilla strips and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer strips to a paper towel-lined baking pan. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips in two batches. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt. Set aside.

  4. Purée soup in batches in a blender. Return soup to pot and resume simmering. In a small bowl, toss chicken with remaining lime juice, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes, then add to soup and simmer 5 minutes, until chicken is just cooked through. Stir in cilantro. Serve hot with tortilla strips and your choice of toppings.

  5. Note: Nutritional analysis is per cup.

Cook's Notes

No time to make tortilla strips? Store-bought chips will do in a pinch. Top with sour cream, avocado, cheese, and anything else you would like.