Chicken Tortilla Soup with Vegetables

This chicken tortilla soup gets its flavor from a broth laden with tomatoes and ancho chile. When using ancho or any dried chiles, choose ones that are still pliable, or soften them by warming them in a 350°F oven for a minute or two before slicing them. The pieces of chicken, potato, zucchini, and yellow squash in the soup give it a little extra body and heft. You may want to offer the garnish of baked tortilla strips at the table so they stay crispy and don't get soggy in the soup. Finish this soup with a dollop of tangy sour cream, a squeeze of lime juice, and pinch of fresh cilantro for a little extra brightness in each spoonful.

Tortilla soup
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins


  • Four 6-inch corn tortillas

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

  • 4 fresh or canned plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juices

  • 1 medium all-purpose potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice

  • 1 ancho chile—stemmed, seeded and cut into thin strips

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram

  • Salt

  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 1 pound small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips

  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

  • 1 lime, quartered, for garnish

  • Sour cream, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Brush both sides of the tortillas with the vegetable oil, cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips and spread them in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until golden.

  2. In a large nonreactive saucepan, combine the stock, tomatoes, potato, ancho, onion, garlic, marjoram and 1 teaspoon of salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate; simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and yellow squash; cook for 1 minute longer. Add the chicken and simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.

  3. Ladle the soup into warmed soup plates or bowl. Float a few tortilla strips on top of each serving and garnish each with several cilantro sprigs, a lime quarter and a dollop of sour cream. Serve the remaining tortilla strips on the side. Enjoy the soup right away, before the tortillas become soggy.

Suggested Pairing

The spiciness of the soup suggests an off-dry, fruity white to balance the heat. Try a dry Californian Chenin Blanc.

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