Chicken Tortilla Soup

With its inviting aroma and comforting warmth, this savory soup is one of our favorites. Brimming with chicken, corn, tomato, onions, and Mexican spices and topped with cheese, crisp fresh-baked lime tortilla strips, and avocado, it's a filling meal unto itself. Every bite satisfies with a medley of flavors and textures. Muy bueno!




10 cups




Tortilla Strips

  • 2 ½ Tablespoons Challenge Butter, melted
  • 6 white corn tortillas (5-inch size)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest (1 lime)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon citric acid*


  • 1 large dried pasilla chile
  • 3 Tablespoons Challenge Butter
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ quarts (6 cups) chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1-1½ teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 6 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 or 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and cut into cubes (optional)


Tortilla Strips

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • 2

    Combine melted butter, garlic salt, and citric acid. Brush one side of the tortillas with melted butter and place in single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.

  • 3

    Bake about 10 minutes or until tortillas begin to brown. Add lime zest to remaining melted butter and brush other side of tortillas.

  • 4

    Cut tortillas into ¼-inch strips.

  • 5

    Turn off the oven and place baking sheet in cooling oven for about 10 minutes or until tortillas are golden and crisp.


  • 6

    Place dried whole chile pepper in a dry small sauté pan over medium heat, press down on chile and turn toasting on both side. Break off stem and split to remove seeds. Crumble into a dry bender jar and process to a coarse powder (about 1 tablespoon).

  • 7

    Melt butter in a large saucepan. Sauté onions until they are soft. Stir in cumin, chipotle pepper, pisalli chile and garlic.

  • 8

    Add chicken and sauté until meat is no longer pink.

  • 9

    Stir in cornstarch and black pepper. Add broth, tomatoes and corn; bring just to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

  • 10

    Add salt to taste. Use reserved lime juice to sprinkle on sliced avocados or add directly to soup.

  • 11

    Ladle into individual bowls. Sprinkle shredded cheese and tortilla strips. Top with avocado slices if desired. Serve with wedge of lime.


  • !

    Citric acid found with canning supplies in most grocery stores.

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