Chicken Tortilla Soup

Essence Battle (left), Najah Fleming (center), and Hannah Gonzalez (right) shred the chicken after it cooked with the tortilla soup, before returning it to the pot.

Makes 6-8 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1½ teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 medium onion, diced (1 tablespoon reserved for guacamole)

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1  14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, plain or with Italian seasoning

32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock

1  15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or more, if desired

3 corn tortillas, cut into strips

Optional garnishes:

Grated Monterey jack cheese

Cilantro (if using, add some chopped cilantro to your guacamole)



1. Heat olive oil in a stockpot on medium-high heat. Saute whole chicken thighs until brown on both sides. While the chicken is cooking, mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt to add to the vegetables. Add onions, green pepper, and minced garlic and stir to combine. Stir in the spice mix and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables and spices are fragrant.

2. Add canned tomatoes, chicken stock, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Add water if the soup seems too thick.

3. Remove chicken thighs and shred using two forks before returning to the soup. Taste to check seasonings, adding more if needed.

4. About 2 minutes before serving, add corn tortilla strips and stir to combine. To serve, ladle into bowls, then top with your choice of garnish, if desired.

5. Serve with a side of homemade chips and guacamole.

Per serving: 251 calories, 7 grams fat, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 248 milligrams sodium, 535 milligrams potassium, 23 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, 24 grams protein