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Tortilla Soup

By Paula Deen


Difficulty: Easy

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 15


  • 2 1/2 lb split chicken breasts
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 chopped ribs celery
  • 1 large quartered yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 chopped sweet onion
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 seeded and minced jalapeño peppers
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 (28-ounce) can undrained petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cut into thin strips corn tortillas
  • cilantro (optional) sour cream


In a large Dutch oven, combine chicken breast, water, celery, and yellow onion. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from broth; reserve broth. Let chicken cool slightly; skin and bone chicken. Shred chicken, and set aside. Strain broth, discarding vegetables, set aside.

In Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat; add sweet onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, and garlic. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, or until tender. Stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, 10 cups reserved chicken broth, shredded chicken, cilantro, cumin, salt, and chili powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice.

In a small skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Fry tortilla strips, in batches, until crispy; drain on paper towels.

Ladle soup into bowls, top with crispy tortilla strips. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro, if desired.