Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorite kinds of soup. If I had to pick 3 top picks I’m pretty sure it would make the cut. Lately I’ve been getting chicken tortilla soup almost weekly at a local restaurant on our way home from the beach. But I request grilled chicken instead of the traditional shredded chicken and it’s soooo much better. So I decided I better recreate my own chicken tortilla soup and use grilled chicken and grilled corn. Then of course load in the avocado because avocado (or guacamole) is a must in chicken tortilla soup!
Grilling the corn is optional, you definitely can use frozen corn as well but since I already had fresh corn on hand and had the grill going for the chicken I decided to grill the corn as well. And if you love spicy soup feel free to leave the seeds in the jalapenos. I would if I weren’t feeding it to my kids for dinner. I’m still slowly sneaking in the spicy foods in hopes that someday they’ll be able to tolerate plenty.
Then if you want to be fancy serve it with tortilla strips because they look nice (I found them by the croutons at the store), but honestly tortilla chips taste the exact same and they’re a lot cheaper so why not use those? Plus I alwayyys keep tortilla chips on hand. Bare necessities. You can even make your own strips too by frying sliced tortillas in oil or brushing lightly with oil and baking until crisp. And another side note, if you want to stretch the soup you could add in black beans and a little more broth to get more out of it.
If you were wondering about the random 1 tsp sugar in the recipe I added it because 1/4 tsp of it helps the chicken char a little better on the grill. Then the other 3/4 tsp is just to balance out those charred flavors in the soup plus the tartness of the lime. And though the sour cream and cheese aren’t pictured here I wouldn’t recommend leaving them out, they add key flavors. Also, go with the full amount of cilantro. It may seem like a lot but it blends in. It’s all so much goodness in one bowlful of soup!
Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 (10 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 tsp chili powder, divided
- 2 tsp ground cumin, divided
- 1 tsp granulated sugar, divided
- 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small ears corn, shucked or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
- 6 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 large avocado, diced
- Shredded Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips or chips for serving
Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to about 450 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp sugar. Brush chicken with 1 Tbsp olive oil then season both sides with chili powder mixture. Grill about 5 - 6 minutes per side until thickest part of chicken registers 165 degrees. Let rest on cutting board 5 minutes then dice into small cubes.
If using fresh corn cobs, grill shucked corn on medium-high heat, turning every 3 minutes, until slightly charred, about 9 minutes total. Cut corn kernels from cobs.
Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute 5 minutes then jalapenos and garlic and saute 2 minutes longer. Pour in broth, tomatoes, remaining 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15 minutes (if using frozen corn add during last minute or two).
Add chicken and corn to soup along with cilantro and lime juice. Add diced avocados to each serving as well as cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy