Texas Chicken Tortilla Soup

in Chicken & Turkey, Cinco de Mayo, Freezer Friendly, Lighter & Healthier, Mexican & TexMex, Soup, Stew, and Chili

Texas Tortilla Soup

I love mornings like the one today. My feet hit the surprisingly chilly floor next to the bed and I immediately begin stumbling blurry-eyed to my office to check the temperature outside. 45 degrees?! Holy cow, it’s winter!!

Before you roll your eyes and think, “45 degrees?! I mow the lawn in shorts in 45 degree weather!” remember that I live only about 15 minutes north of the equator ๐Ÿ™‚

On cold days like today, I’m thinking about a warm, comfort-food style dinner before I’ve even pulled the box of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cereal oatmeal out of the pantry for breakfast. Something warm, something I have to serve in a bowl and eat with a spoon, something like The Pastry Queen’s Texas Tortilla soup.

Festive and fresh enough for a warm summer evening on the back patio with fajitas on the grill and margaritas in-hand, this hearty soup easily fits the bill for a warm-you-up-from-the-inside dinner. It’s my favorite kind of tortilla soup – more “brothy” than the creamy version that I often see in most restaurants. Prefer a creamier soup? Stir a small dollup of sour cream into the hot bowl before garnishing. YUM.

Texas Chicken Tortilla Soup

A healthy Texas-style chicken tortilla soup made with roasted tomatoes.


  • For the soup:
  • 8 plum tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 dried ancho chile pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can peeled tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne, for heat (optional)
  • 3-4 chicken breasts or 1/2 a rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 8 oz corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • For serving (optional):
  • Avocado slices
  • Tortilla chips or strips
  • Diced plum tomatoes
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice the plum tomatoes in half.
  3. Toss with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking pan and roast the tomatoes for 35 minutes, until the skins wrinkle and the tomatoes are slightly brown around the edges. (Alternately, if you have time, preheat the oven to 300 and roast for 90 minutes - the slow roasted tomatoes are so much more flavorful than the quick-roasted ones. You can do this step ahead of time and refrigerate the roasted tomatoes.)
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  5. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and saute about 5 minutes, until the vegetables become soft.
  6. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add the chicken stock, 1 cup water, and ancho chile. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover, decrease the heat and simmer about 15 minutes, until the ancho chile softens.
  8. Remove the chile from the soup and pull off and discard the stem. Cut the chile in half and discard the seeds, if desired. (Leaving the seeds in makes for a spicier soup, I left them in.)
  9. Place the softened chile, the canned tomatoes with their juices and the roasted tomatoes (included as much as possible of the juices and browned tomato bits) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree the chile-tomato mixture about 1 minute.
  10. Transfer the chile-tomato mixture to the soup and continue simmering, covered, about 1 hour.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste and ground red pepper (if using) along with the cooked chicken.
  12. Add the corn to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes. (If freezing, stop here and allow the soup to cool before transferring to โ€œleftoverโ€ containers and freezing. It keeps for at least two months).
  13. Ladle the soup into medium bowls. Garnish and serve.


Yields: 8 servings

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 2 hours

Nutritional Information
Calories: 169.6 | Fat: 5.1g | Fiber 3.6g | Protein 15.0g | Carbs 16.8g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4

(Soup only, garnish not included)

13 comments… add one
  • I had my first tortilla soup at an awesome Mexican restaurant near me months ago. I absolutely loved it. Now I will have to try your version here for sure. Awesome.

  • Great looking soup! It has a lot of my favorite ingredients.

  • wow! that sounds awesome.

    so funny, I just posted my chicken tortilla soup from this sunday. I would LOVE to try a new recipe. one of my favorite things. ๐Ÿ™‚ hooray for soup and cooler weather!

  • Amanda

    This soup looks delicious; I will definitely try it out. But I must scoff at your 45 degrees! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jody

    Hello from a fellow Texan! I live in Northwest Houston and just love visiting your site. Once the weather gets cold again, I think I may have to treat myself and my fiance to some of this delicious soup.

    I love your site!

  • Hey this is an interesting recipe. Lovely combo and beautiful colors going on here.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been hunting for a great tortilla soup recipe, this looks delicious!

  • I really love to eat lots of different kinds of soup specially vegetable based soups.”*:

  • i love all sorts of soup but my most favorite soup is none other chicken or beef soup.;`”

  • Titania Gasca

    Kuddos on your recipe, looks fantastic, I live in Colorado, so… 45 degrees… hee, hee, we wear shorts at 30 degrees, still love to try your soup.. thanks for sharing!

  • Amanda

    I know I’m late to the party but this soup is delicious! Quick question, what do you consider one serving?

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