Chicken Tortilla Soup

A great way to use up leftover chicken. Add texture by crisping up tortilla strips in the oven.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Makes six servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes


  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup peeled and diced carrot
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 2 tsp. seeded and diced jalapeño pepper
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup thinly sliced roast chicken
  • 2 tbs. plus ½ tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • 2 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro


  • Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, jalapeño, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt; sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, three to five minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and oregano, and tomatoes with their juice; cook one minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • As soup simmers, stack the tortillas and cut into ½-inch-wide strips. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, seven to eight minutes.
  • Add the chicken, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt to the soup. Simmer uncovered for five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the ½ teaspoon of lime juice. Add another squeeze of lime juice or pinch of salt to taste.
  • Serve in bowls garnished with crumbled tortilla strips, avocado, and cilantro.



Why No Numbers? Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

, is the author of several cookbooks, including Clean Soups and The Healthy Mind Cookbook, and is the director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal. She lives in San Rafael, Calif.

Photography by Andrea D'Agosto; Prop Styling by Alicia Buszczak; Food Stylist: Paul Jackman

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