Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

This hearty soup has been a staple of my diet for many years. However, I don’t prepare it 100% in the traditional way. In fact, contrary to the name, I no longer even add tortillas to mine. Having tweaked this recipe to suit my tastes, I find it absolutely wonderful. I hope you do as well.

We’ll need to do a little shopping for this meal. The first stop will be Home Plus for jalapenos and canned black beans.

Black Beans & Jalapenos

Next, it’s on to Costco for canned tomatoes, shredded cheese and sour cream.

Cheese, Sour Cream & Tomatoes

For the main ingredient, chicken breasts, I prefer to buy them frozen. You can pick up frozen chicken at Home Plus, E-Mart, or most likely even at your local butcher. Just ask for naengdong dakgasumsal (냉동 닭가슴살). I pay 9-10,000 won for 1kg of frozen chicken breasts.

And now let’s get started…

Servings: 4
Prep. time: 15 min.
Cook time: 30 min.

Ingredients (check out my ingredient page on where to find the following in Korea):

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons jalapenos, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons shredded Mexican style cheese blend
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice

If your chicken breasts are frozen, start by tossing them into a large bowl and cover with cold water. It will take about 20-30 min for them to thaw. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

First, heat one tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Next, mix the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt in a bowl, pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and toss it in the seasoning mixture to coat well. Pan fry the chicken until just done, about 3 minutes per side. Be sure not to overcook the chicken, causing it to dry out.

Pan Frying Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Remove the chicken from the skillet, allow it to rest for 5 minutes on your cutting board, then dice or pull apart with forks, vis-a-vis pulled pork.

Diced Seasoned Chicken

At some point before now, you probably prepped your veggies. If not, go ahead and do that.

Onion, Garlic & Jalapenos

Time to take out a large pot and heat the remaining vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onions to the pot and cook until they start to turn translucent. Then, add the jalapenos and garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.

Onions, Garlic, & Jalapenos Cooking

Your kitchen should now smell delicious.

Time to add the rest of the ingredients. Go ahead and toss in the chicken stock, tomatoes, black beans, and salt & pepper to taste. Bring the whole thing to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Tortilla Soup Cooking

Add some of your chicken to the bottom of a bowl. Ladle the soup over the chicken. Top with the Mexican cheese blend, sour cream and a squirt of lime juice. In addition, some people like to add fried corn tortilla strips (you can substitute tortilla chips) and slices of avocado.


Want to go all out? Try these tips:

1. Instead of using canned tomatoes, try fire roasting your own using this recipe.
2. Make your own chicken stock from scratch and use the meat in your tortilla soup.

Tortilla Soup

Please leave a comment below. I always welcome your feedback!!


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