Roasted Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Soup, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Roasted Green Chile Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 100 minutes
Servings: 6-8 servings

Two things I never get tired of eating during these colder months are chicken tortilla soup and any recipe prepared with roasted green chiles. The only problem during colder months in many places is the lack of fresh ingredients at a good price. We get spoiled during the summer with the abundance of fresh produce, in particular, green chile peppers.

So during colder months, to save a little money, I rely on a few canned items such as fire-roasted green chiles. I keep a small supply in my pantry and use them in a variety of recipes. I prefer the whole green chiles if I can find them, but the diced works as well. For this recipe, I share with you a low and slow-roasted recipe for chicken tortilla soup. But if you don’t have time and you want to prepare the recipe on a work week night, I included the slow cooker method directions.


  • For the Soup
  • olive oil
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 small white onion sliced in quarters
  • 4 garlic cloves leave skins on
  • 2 jalapeño peppers stems removed
  • 17-20 ounces fire roasted canned green chiles
  • 1½-2 pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • 4 corn tortillas diced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large lime juiced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups corn frozen or cut fresh off the cob
  • For the Garnish
  • tortilla strips thin or wide, fried
  • cilantro chopped
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema
  • Avocado slices
  • Lime wedges
  • crushed chile piquin or red pepper flakes

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Stove-Top Method
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to medium heat in a large pot. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeños. Cook and roast, with this stove top method, for 20 minutes. You should have some blackening and caramelizing. Turn as needed. Remove the garlic after 10 minutes. Remove remaining ingredients in the pot and let them cool.
  2. Season the chicken, to taste, with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In the same pot you cooked the tomatoes and jalapeños, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and preheat to medium for a few minutes. When it's hot, sear the chicken for 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken onto a plate and set aside.
  3. In a blender add 1/2 of the fired roasted canned green chile, onion, garlic (skins removed) and 1 cup broth. Pulse to blend until smooth.
  4. Again using the same pot you cooked the chicken in, heat to medium. When it's hot, add the diced tortillas, adding a little more oil if needed. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. To the pot with tortillas, add the sauce from blender, the remaining broth, lime juice, cumin, oregano, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken back in. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, partially covered, for 35 to 45 minutes.
  6. Remove chicken and shred and add back to soup. Dice the reserved tomatoes and jalapenos you roasted on the stove top earlier. Add them to soup along with the corn and remaining fire roasted canned green chiles. Bring up to a low boil and cook for 20 minutes. Taste for salt. If soup is too thick, you can add more chicken broth.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls and top with fried tortilla strips. Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, avocado, lime and crushed red chiles.
Slow-Cooker Method
  1. Season and sear chicken as directed. Fry diced tortillas. Finely dice or mince onions, jalapeños and tomatoes. Blend 1/2 of roasted green chile with 1 cup of broth.
  2. Add all of the ingredients for soup, minus the corn to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
  3. Remove chicken and shred. Add back to slow cooker along with the corn. Cook for 30 more minutes.

Chef Notes

To fry corn tortilla strips, slice to desired size. Fry in preheated canola oil, turning as needed, until crispy. Drain onto paper towels. Lightly season with salt.

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