Make ahead meal: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken tortilla soup is one of my absolute favorites but I’ve never made it at home – it always seems way too complicated and full if complex ingredients, like it took all day to make (but really, it couldn’t be more simple). So when Evan requested soups for some of our make-ahead meals, it was first on my list. Store-bought rotisserie chicken is my secret ingredient for making any delicious chicken soup. It takes a few steps out of the process and you can make your own stock from scratch which is something I love to do. This chicken tortilla soup is the right amount of spicy, savory, brothy and hearty. It was one of those meals where we couldn’t stop “Mmmmmming” and smacking our lips, and talking about how delicious a bowl of soup was. It was exciting to know that we’d have a few more servings waiting for us once baby is here. And the fact that one little store-bought rotisserie chicken could make so much food was really satisfying – like getting an extra discount at the register when the item you’re purchasing is already on sale. This soup was a true triumph! Ready to make it? Let’s go!
Chicken Tortilla Soup (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
Makes about 8-10 servings
For the broth (alternately, if you don’t want to make your own stock, you can replace this step with 8-10 cups of low sodium chicken broth)
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken, chicken removed and bones reserved
- 10 cups hot water, or enough to cover the chicken carcass
- 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 large celery stocks, roughly chopped
- 1 handful of parsley, about 1 cup
- 1 bay leaf
For the Soup
- Meat from rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- ¼ cups diced green bell pepper
- ¼ cups red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cans (15 Oz. can) black beans, drained
- 5 whole corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips around 2 to 3 inches
- 1 tablespoons canola oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Optional toppings & add-ins
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- green onion
Have two medium-sized bowls ready. Make sure your rotisserie chicken is cool enough to handle and separate the meat from the bones, placing each in a designated bowl. Don’t worry about stripping the meat completely off the bones, just get as much as you can.
Place chicken bones (the entire carcass), carrots, onion, celery, parsley, and bay leaf in a large stock pot and fill with hot water, enough to cover all of the bones. Add about 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 3 hours uncovered. Skim any foam that appears on the surface. Strain stock to remove veggies, parsley and bay leaf. You will have about 2 quarts of stock. Return to stock pot and keep heated on medium low.
In a large pan, heat tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until sizzling. Add shredded chicken, cumin, chili, powder, garlic powder, and salt. Cook until spices are incorporated into the chicken, about 3-5 minutes. Return seasoned chicken to medium bowl and set aside. In the same pan, heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, green and red bell pepper, and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions and bell pepper begin to brown slightly. Return chicken to the pan. Cook together for another 3 minutes. Combine cooked ingredients with stock and add canned ingredients – tomatoes and green chilies, tomato paste, and black beans. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Check seasoning and add more if necessary (if you want more heat, add more chili powder, etc.). Be sure to salt well. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a small pan and fry tortilla strips until just crispy, about 2 minutes on each side. Strain onto a paper towel lined plate and add into the soup just before serving. Top with desired garnishes.
IF FREEZING FOR LATER:
Let soup cool completely. This may take a few hours. Place into freezer-safe containers or a ziplock and freeze for up to three months. Skip the tortilla strips step and add just before serving. Just a note for you: We divided our soup into serving sizes before freezing so that we wouldn’t have to defrost more than we needed; food for thought.