Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Robin Jolin
  • Yield: 6-8 servings

Rich with charred tomatoes, smoky pasilla chiles, and tortilla chips, this Mexican-inspired soup satisfies the soul. If pasilla chiles aren’t readily available to you, substitute a tablespoon of chipotles in adobo sauce or a generous amount of your favorite hot sauce to ensure that you get that kick. To add an authentic, fresh feel, deliver the soup with an avocado for dicing, cilantro leaves, and limes to cut into wedges.


4 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds)
8cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 pasilla chiles, seeded
2pounds (about 6) ripe medium beefsteak tomatoes, quartered
1 small white or yellow onion, cut into wedges
4cloves garlic
1tablespoon olive oil
3/4teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
8ounces tortilla chips
1 small bunch cilantro, for serving
2 avocados, for serving
2 limes, quartered, for serving


  1. In a large pot, place the chicken and enough chicken broth to cover (about 8 cups) and bring to a boil.
  2. Decrease the heat and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and, when cool enough to handle, shred into pieces. Reserve 5 cups of the broth and refrigerate or freeze the remaining broth for another use.
  3. Meanwhile, soak 2 of the chiles in hot water for 10 minutes; drain.
  4. Heat the broiler. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and oil. Broil, stirring twice, until the vegetables are charred, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender along with the soaked chiles and puree until smooth.
  5. In a large saucepan, combine the tomato-chile mixture with the salt, pepper, and the reserved chicken broth and bring to a boil. Slice the remaining chile and stir it into the soup along with the shredded chicken.
  6. Serve topped with crumbled chips, cilantro, avocados, and a squeeze of lime.

—Reprinted with permission from Sara Quessenberry's and Suzanne Schlosberg's The Good Neighbor Cookbook (Andrews McMeel Publishing).