A creamy, flavor-packed chicken soup infused with Mexican spices and topped with crunchy tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese – it’s the ultimate comfort soup!
There must be a million and one recipes out there for Chicken Tortilla Soup. Some are creamy, some are brothy. Many of the creamy ones use Velveeta cheese and/or canned condensed soups. This recipe uses neither. Made from scratch and positively packed with flavor, you’re going to love it!
I created this Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup by way of request (“Make a Request!“) from Linda Manning who wanted a flavorful version that she could make at home. Quality broth, the right quantity and balance of spices and the inclusion of masa harina all contribute to an exceptional flavor. The masa harina doubles as both a thickening agent as well as imparting a fabulous “corn” flavor.
We’re in the dead of Winter here in WA and few things are received with more enthusiasm than a bowl of hot “comfort” soup. And when you combine something that’s creamy, packed with flavor, and topped with crunchy tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese, you’re sure to have a winner!
Let’s get started!
This first step is optional but highly recommended. Since you have to cook the chicken to shred it anyway, why not make your own chicken stock while you’re at it? It’s super simple and you can’t beat the flavor. Whether you make your own or buy it, using quality chicken broth is key.
Use a large bone-in, skin-on chicken breast (you’ll need those components for the most flavorful broth), about 1-1 1/2 pounds, or the equivalent of dark meat bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces. Add 3 cups of water (this will condense down to about 2 cups after it’s done), a large stick of celery and a large carrot, cut into thirds. Add a medium yellow onion, quartered. Add a clove or two of garlic, cut in half, a bay leaf, and a few whole black peppercorns. (Salt will be added later to the soup.) I just let this simmer on low all day in my slow cooker, about 6 hours. Alternatively, bring it to a boil in a stock pot, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for an hour. Discard the vegetables, bay leaf and peppercorns. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat. Set the meat aside and reserve the broth.
Saute the onions in the butter until tender, about 7 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the flour and the masa harina and stir until incorporated with the onion mixture, cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock gradually, whisking constantly to prevent clumps, then add the evaporated milk. Simmer until slightly thickened. Add the shredded chicken and stir to combine.
Add the corn, beans, and salsa. Add all the spices.
Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and the fresh cilantro and stir until the cheese is dissolved and the soup is heated through, another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: Leftovers will be thicker when reheated. Add some extra chicken broth or milk accordingly.
Serve hot topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, some fresh chopped cilantro, and crumbled tortilla chips.
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Shredded chicken from 1 large chicken breast (1-1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onions ,chopped
- 1 clove garlic ,minced
- 2 tablespoons masa harina
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups good quality chicken broth (see pictured instructions in blog post for making homemade chicken broth out of the chicken breast - since you're cooking the chicken anyway, make some excellent broth out of it!)
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 1/4 cup salsa
- 1 15 oz can whole kernel corn
- 1 15 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed to prevent soup discoloration)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- or Best Homemade Chili Powder (recommended)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro ,chopped
- sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, cilantro and tortilla chips for serving
- Heat the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and saute the onion until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add the masa harina and flour and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the broth, whisking constantly to prevent clumping. Add the evaporated milk and simmer until slightly thickened.
- Add the shredded chicken, salsa, corn, beans, and all the spices. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the shredded cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, stir to combine and warm through for another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro and crumbled tortilla chips.
- Note: Leftovers will be thicker when reheated. Add some extra chicken broth or milk accordingly.