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I truly love tortilla soup. It’s always hearty and has a great kick. I particularly love the kind from restaurants that I can’t eat, because they use a (wheat) roux or wheat tortillas. Sad face. Guess I’ll have to make my own.

I found a great recipe for paleo chicken tortilla soup which turned out great (albeit a little too spicy.. because I never actually measure out my spices when I cook, and I ended up dumping too much cayenne pepper into the mix… whoops). It’s naturally gluten-free, since it’s paleo – but I have a couple of minor changes to the recipe and ways to serve it up that I’ll share with you here.

Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup

We make this recipe in our large, nonstick stock pot. It can easily serve the two of us with leftovers for a few days (and we like big bowls).


For the Chicken:

4 Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, (thawed if from frozen, which is how we do)
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
(all to taste, of course, but I generally stick to no more than 2 tsp of each, maximum)

Preheat your oven to 375. Place your chicken into an oven-safe dish and drizzle with some olive oil. Sprinkle half of your spices on the upwards facing side of the chicken, and place in the oven for about 15 minutes. Flip, sprinkle the rest of your spices on the newly upward side of the chicken, cook for 15 more minutes. Shred with two forks.

For the Soup:

Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 Poblano Peppers, diced
1 Jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 (4oz) can Diced Green Chiles
1 (14.5oz) can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Cumin, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Chipotle Powder, Salt and Pepper, all to taste (about 1-2 tsp each is a good place to start).
32oz Chicken Stock
Juice from 2 limes

While your chicken is baking, heat up some olive oil in a stock pot on medium-high heat and add your onions, red bell pepper, jalapeño and poblano peppers. Add in your minced (or crushed) garlic and stir well. Cook until the onions turn translucent.

Pour in your canned green chiles and fire roasted tomatoes, and add your spices to taste. Stir to cover your veggies with your spices. Add your shredded chicken and the chicken stock, mix well, and let simmer for 30 minutes.


After simmering, add the lime juice and more spices to taste.

Now, you just need to make some home-made tortilla strips, and this will be a perfect dish.

What was that you said? You don’t know how to make home-made tortilla strips? I shall teach you. Ready? Go.

Keep your oven at 375 from the chicken. Take 5 or 6 small corn tortillas and cut them into thin (1/2 inch) strips. From there, cut them in half again so they are fairly short. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just browned and crisp. When you remove them from the oven, immediately sprinkle with salt for some flavor and let them cool. Done!


Serve this soup with your home-made tortilla strips, shredded cheese, sliced fresh avocado, sour cream, and of course, the hot sauce of your choice (Tapatio is ours). If you don’t want to add all of that (I know, it’s a lot), I would at least recommend the tortilla strips and sour cream – they really transform the flavors and make this recipe taste like my beloved restaurant tortilla soups. Many yums are to be had. Don’t believe me? Just look.