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
How to Make It
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.
Add broth, tomatoes, and half the lime juice and increase heat to a gentle simmer; cook 20 minutes.
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.
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.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per cup.
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.