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5 from 4 votes

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This flavorful chicken tortilla soup is made in under 30 minutes, with or without an Instant Pot. Classic tortilla soup, the way I ate it in Mexico City, is simply good chicken broth combined with roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, chiles, and topped with fried corn tortilla strips and an assortment of garnishes to make your own special bowl. It’s food for the soul.
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: All Recipes, Entrees, Soups
Cuisine: Mexican, Mexico, Tex-Mex
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 487kcal

Ingredients

Tortilla Strips:

  • 12 yellow corn tortillas sliced into ¼-inch-thick strips
  • 1/3 cup canola oil for frying tortilla strips

Toppings:

  • fried corn tortilla strips

  • pork skins (chicharrones) 

  • diced avocado

  • crumbled queso fresco

  • crema Mexicana

  • lime wedges

  • crunchy roasted chiles

  • chopped fresh cilantro

  • diced onion

Instructions

Stove Top:

  • In a large bowl filled with hot water add dried chiles until the chiles have softened about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Blend the softened chiles with torn tortilla pieces, fire roasted tomatoes, and 1 cup chicken broth in a blender. Blend until smooth. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large (at least 6-quart) pot over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring continuously, until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
  • Lightly sprinkle salt over chicken breasts, and chicken thighs.
  • Add the chicken, tomato mixture from blender, and remaining chicken broth to pot, and give everything a good stir. Let come to a boil; reduce heat. Let simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. 
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. 
  • Add shredded chicken back to pot and season with salt if needed.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and serve with tortillas strips, avocados, a squeeze of lime juice, and your choice of toppings. 

Instant Pot:

  • In a large bowl filled with hot water add dried chiles until the chiles have softened about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Blend the softened chiles with torn tortilla pieces, fire roasted tomatoes, and 1 cup chicken broth in a blender. Blend until smooth. 
  • Select Sauté on the Instant Pot and warm the oil. Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic for 1 minute.
  • Lightly sprinkle salt over chicken breasts, and chicken thighs.
  • Add the chicken, tomato mixture from blender, and remaining chicken broth, and give everything a good stir. 
  • Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing. 
  • Press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 20 minutes at high pressure.  
  • Let the steam release naturally for about 10 minutes, then turn the valve to Venting to release any residual steam. 
  • Carefully remove the lid and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. 
  • Add shredded chicken back to pot and season with salt if needed.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and serve with tortillas strips, avocados, a squeeze of lime juice, and your choice of toppings. 

Tortilla Strips:

  • In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat and fry the tortilla strips until lightly browned around the edges, about 1 minute. Transfer the strips to paper towels to drain.

Notes

  • Tortilla soup goes great with a tall mountain of homemade tortilla strips.
  • This soup tastes better with time. This soup lasts in the fridge for up to five days in a resealable container. Just heat and serve.
  • It freezes well in these plastic containers, which comes in very handy when you are not feeling well, and need comforting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving without toppings | Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 791mg | Potassium: 875mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 419IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 3mg