This is our best chicken tortilla soup recipe. This spicy Southwestern Chicken Soup is one of our favorite cold-weather recipes and uses those much loved sweet and smoky dried ancho chiles.
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We lean towards a Southwestern kitchen here at the Ranch. Some people say Tex-Mex recipes or Southwest recipes but Southwestern recipes just roll off the lips easier to us.
We use Ancho Chiles in our best chicken tortilla soup recipe, and if you are not familiar with them, it’s time to get acquainted. An Ancho Chile is a dried poblano chile which is one of the sweetest of all the chiles used in Tex-Mex cooking.
These Ancho chiles don’t bring heat to this bowl but they add an amazing smoky flavor. Ancho chiles are used in authentic mole, tamales, and some enchilada sauces and make the rich Mexican red sauce in this soup. (Mexican food varies according to location so the term “authentic” can different for different folks.)
We used jalapenos to bring a little “heat” to this Southwestern Chicken Soup bowl. So just a heads up with the jalapenos, add according to your family’s tolerance.
Even though this soup has crunchy corn tortilla strips on top, we usually serve flour tortillas on the side. None of this amazing red sauce goes to waste when is sopped up with a hot fluffy flour tortilla. Note: Use a tortilla keeper like this to keep those flour tortillas soft and hot.
We hope you enjoyed chasing away the chills today with this bowl of Smoky Spicy Southwestern Chicken Soup made from one our favorite Mexican Chiles, the Ancho. It’s absolutely our best chicken tortillas soup recipe.
How to make our Best Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- 2 Ancho Chiles dried
- 2 chicken breasts skinless boneless
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 large jalapeños seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons broth base
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 14.5 oz cans white hominy drained
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
- Feta cheese for garnish
- Mexican oregano for garnish
- 2 corn tortillas
- Put ancho chiles into a bowl and cover with boiling water, let set for 30 minutes. Remove stems and seeds and chop.
- Meanwhile, place chicken breasts in water over medium-high heat and boil until done, remove and shred with two forks
- Heat oil in a dutch oven, add onions, jalapenos, ancho chiles and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth and heat
- Add cumin and chicken broth base, and salt and bring to boil
- Add shredded chicken and hominy and allow to simmer on low for 30 minutes, add cilantro
- Meanwhile, cut tortillas into strips using a sharp pizza cutter
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place tortilla strips on baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake until just brown and crisp approximately 5-6 minutes
- Serve soup topped with strips of tortillas, feta cheese and Mexican oregano or more cilantro to taste
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