Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup

My homemade chicken tortilla soup can be made in the instant pot or the stove top! It’s a rich tomato based soup base, and you can make this with shredded chicken or go with black beans to make it vegetarian! Top it with chopped cilantro, tortilla chips, and avocados.

Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup - Learn how to make a warm chicken tortilla soup, in your instant pot or on the stove top! So easy and so authentic! #chickentortillasoup #tortillasoup #instantpot #instantpottortillasoup #chickensoup #souprecipe | Littlespicejar.com

So warm and so cozy!

This week has been a killer! We’ve been below freezing, back up into the mid-70s, and then just like that, overnight back down below freezing. I think I saw a few snowflakes as I was heading into the grocery store yesterday morning (fourth time this week in case you’re wondering.) 

Between all these crazy weather changes, I can’t figure out whether I want a salad or a big bowl of soup for my meals. So I made a little bit of both. We’re having bowls of this warm chicken tortilla soup for lunch and then for dinner I’ll throw together a salad using my roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes that I shared on Instagram this week.

Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup - Learn how to make a warm chicken tortilla soup, in your instant pot or on the stove top! So easy and so authentic! #chickentortillasoup #tortillasoup #instantpot #instantpottortillasoup #chickensoup #souprecipe | Littlespicejar.com

Lately, I’ve been using my instant pot a lot more than I usually do. I’ve made black bean soup, beef stew, chicken pho, chicken tikka masala, and tested a new short rib ragu that, shall we say, isn’t even close to perfect? January has been off to a crazy start, so the instant pot is making my life a little easier.

And I’ve caught the reorganization bug that everyone else has since the Marie Kondo series came out on Netflix. Now I want to throw my whole house away, and I haven’t even watched the series yet. What is even going to happen when I do?

Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup - Learn how to make a warm chicken tortilla soup, in your instant pot or on the stove top! So easy and so authentic! #chickentortillasoup #tortillasoup #instantpot #instantpottortillasoup #chickensoup #souprecipe | Littlespicejar.com

Moving along. Let’s talk about this homemade chicken tortilla soup recipe.

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

  • dried ancho chilies
  • fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • onions
  • garlic
  • seasonings
  • oil
  • chicken stock (or vegetable)
  • lime juice

HOW TO PREPARE THE ANCHO CHILI PEPPERS:

If you’re wondering what ancho chilies are, they’re just the dried version of poblano pepper. Most grocery stores carry them in the ethnic food aisle. Since they’re dried, you’ll need to rehydrate them before using them in the recipe. Snip the peppers using kitchen shears into small pieces and discard the stem and the seeds. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they’ll rehydrate. Add them to a bowl and pour a cup of boiling water to them. Allow them to hang out for 10 minutes or until they soften.

Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup - Learn how to make a warm chicken tortilla soup, in your instant pot or on the stove top! So easy and so authentic! #chickentortillasoup #tortillasoup #instantpot #instantpottortillasoup #chickensoup #souprecipe | Littlespicejar.com

DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP IN THE INSTANT POT?

No! My friends that don’t have/like instant pots can rejoice! I’ve tested my tortilla soup recipe both on the stove and in the instant pot and have provided directions for both.

I’M VEGETARIAN, WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CHICKEN?

If you follow a vegetarian diet, you can swap the chicken for black beans. Feel free to also throw in roasted veggies to make this even heartier!

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP ON THE STOVE

  1. make the tomato base: throw the first five ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. 
  2. Sauté the prepared tomato base in the oil
  3. add the chicken stock and water and let simmer
  4. add lime juice, and serve!

Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup - Learn how to make a warm chicken tortilla soup, in your instant pot or on the stove top! So easy and so authentic! #chickentortillasoup #tortillasoup #instantpot #instantpottortillasoup #chickensoup #souprecipe | Littlespicejar.com

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP IN THE INSTANT POT

  1. make the tomato base: throw the first five ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. 
  2. Sauté the prepared tomato base in the oil
  3. add the chicken stock and water and pressure cook for 4 minutes.
  4. Do a natural pressure release, add lime juice, and serve!

TIPS FOR MAKING CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP EVEN FASTER

  • use rotisserie chicken for serving
  • use store-bought chicken or vegetable stock
  • make it in the instant pot, not stove top

CAN YOU MAKE CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP, VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY?

Swap the shredded chicken for black beans or steamed broccoli, or roasted sweet potatoes, or any other veggies you like. And instead of using the chicken stock, use vegetable stock. That’s it!

Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup - Learn how to make a warm chicken tortilla soup, in your instant pot or on the stove top! So easy and so authentic! #chickentortillasoup #tortillasoup #instantpot #instantpottortillasoup #chickensoup #souprecipe | Littlespicejar.com

WHAT TOPPINGS DO YOU NEED

You can use just about anything you like here. I often find chicken tortilla soup is served topped with fried ancho or pasilla peppers, and though I’ve never tried this, I can’t see how that wouldn’t be delicious. Other options:

  • sliced or diced avocados
  • crumbled cotija cheese
  • shredded chicken
  • chopped cilantro 
  • lime wedges
  • tortilla chips or strips

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE TORTILLA STRIPS FOR CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

During my college days, we learned that restaurants usually use their leftover or stale corn tortillas to make tortilla chips that they serve with salsa. And since then, whenever I have a few leftover corn tortillas that are about to expire, I slice them really thin and fried them in grapeseed oil until they started to turn a little brown and crispy. Then pull them out onto a paper towel and sprinkle generously with sea salt. These taste 1000% better than using store-bought tortilla chips. Those usually get soggy pretty quickly in the soup, whereas homemade tortilla strips stay crispy a whole lot longer.

I hope you find this soup as soul-warming as we do!

Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup - Learn how to make a warm chicken tortilla soup, in your instant pot or on the stove top! So easy and so authentic! #chickentortillasoup #tortillasoup #instantpot #instantpottortillasoup #chickensoup #souprecipe | Littlespicejar.com

Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup

My homemade chicken tortilla soup can be made in the instant pot or the stove top! It’s a rich tomato based soup base and you can make this with shredded chicken or go with black beans to make it vegetarian! Top it with chopped cilantro, tortilla chips, and avocados.

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Ingredients:

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 2 dried ancho peppers
  • 1 (28.5-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: dried oregano AND adobo seasoning
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3-4 tablespoons lime juice

Toppings:

  • cooked shredded chicken
  • diced avocados
  • shredded or cotija cheese
  • tortilla chips or strips
  • lime wedges
  • chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. SOAK: Trim the tops off the peppers, open up the peppers and remove and discard all the seeds and ribs. Using kitchen shears, snip the peppers into 10-12 pieces and add them to a bowl. Pour 1 cup hot water on top. Allow the peppers to rehydrate for 10 minutes.
  2. BLEND: Add the peppers with the water to a blender along with the tomatoes, onion, oregano, adobo seasoning, and garlic. Blend until it’s smooth.
  3. COOK:
    1. STOVE TOP: Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the prepared pepper mixture and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce heats through and thickens a bit. Add the chicken stock and 1 cup water and let the soup simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust salt as desired.
    2. OR INSTANT POT: Add the oil, and the prepared pepper mixture and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and 1 cup water, cover, and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. I usually let it sit for 5 minutes before doing a quick release. Stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust salt as desired.
  4. SERVE: Ladle soup into bowls and top with desired toppings! 

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Soul-Warming Chicken Tortilla Soup - Learn how to make a warm chicken tortilla soup, in your instant pot or on the stove top! So easy and so authentic! #chickentortillasoup #tortillasoup #instantpot #instantpottortillasoup #chickensoup #souprecipe | Littlespicejar.com

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