You would think that the star of this Chicken Tortilla Soup would be the chicken. Or the tortilla strips. Or the peppers giving it a little bit of spice and kick. In actuality, the star of this recipe, from Merritt Bates-Thomas, from the Green River District Health Department in Owensboro, KY, is garlic. Merritt loves garlic and she's loaded up this delicious recipe with four cloves of it!

Tijana Drndarski/Unsplash

Tijana Drndarski/Unsplash

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 - 2 poblano peppers, diced
1 medium onion diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
6 fresh corn tortillas, diced or cut into strips
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
2 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 pound shredded cooked chicken
Saute' bell pepper, poblano pepper,onion, and garlic in a skillet with olive oil added until the mixture is softened.  Set aside until adding to the soup mixture.  In a large stock pot, add chicken broth and warm over medium heat. Add tortilla pieces and stir into the broth.  Add cumin, chile powder, tomatoes, tomato paste, cilantro, and cooked chicken.  Cook for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Note from Merritt:  If you cook a whole chicken to use in the recipe, the chicken stock remaining from cooking the chicken can substitute for some of the broth.  You can prep ingredients while cooking the chicken.  It will need to cool before skinning, boning, and shredding it.
To garnish the soup, which I did when I tried it, you can use one or all of the following. I used them all!
Monterey Jack Cheese
Cilantro (chopped)
Tortilla strips
This recipe makes 12 delicious servings!

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