David Prince
Total Time
1 Hour
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. 

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 2

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

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per cup.

Chef'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. 

Ratings & Reviews

August 05, 2016
Hi,What did you change?  All of the ingredients seemed to be GF.  Since I am very Gluten sensitive I would like to know what ingredient should I substitute in the recipe. Thank you. Judith, 

athornbu's Review

September 06, 2012

cjontig's Review

April 01, 2011

trkates's Review

December 28, 2009

newbie2cooking's Review

November 14, 2008
Awesome, easy and very satisfying. Served with salad at a book club meeting and got rave reviews. It makes a lot! I added a little extra salt and cumin to the broth, extra lime juice to the marinade, and cayenne pepper since we like things spicy. Picky husband actually asks me to make this!

mskimv's Review

December 22, 2010
Excellent! The only negative thing to say is, this is a lot of work. But anything worthwhile is.

BrendasGoodies's Review

November 03, 2010
VERY yummy soup! My blender broke on 4th of July! so I used my hand held blender and just blended it all in the pot! Very easy and soooo good! My picky hubby actually ate it!

Roughleyme's Review

January 03, 2012
This was a delicious soup. I've been looking for a good tortilla soup. My favorite is Sedona Tortilla soup from CPK but it still didn't come out quite like that (I think they add corn and puree it all). But it was a good recipe nonetheless. I did, however, cut the recipe in half because this is a big one. I also added a 4 oz can of chopped green hatch chilis, used roasted diced canned tomatoes, added chili powder and smoked paprika. I marinated the chicken from the beginning like others and added 1 can of black beans. We served with whole wheat low fat cheese quesadillas. Nice light dinner!

tbird5978's Review

January 11, 2011
Great recipe. I used a 28 oz can of Rotel tomatoes and I think that put the "kick" in it that the other reviewers said it needed. I also shredded the chicken. It dosn't look interesting after you make it but it tastes great!!!

wilso132's Review

February 04, 2011
we LOVED it! we will definitely be making it again.