Ok I called this Dad’s tortilla soup, because he originally made this for us. Who knows where he got the recipe. He had his favorites and they were his favs for a reason! From his homemade orange bread to the Mexican caldo, we loved all of his concoctions. This was no exception. And we’ve been making it around here for years.
You should see my recipe book I refer to when I make this. It’s a binder I started when I got married that has family recipes I started getting from my mom back in college. Most of them are handwritten on notebook paper and have a one or two food stains on them. The paper itself is even starting to look old. And, this tortilla soup is one of the first ones I asked for. Along with mom’s homemade cornbread dressing we make at Thanksgiving (the best if you ask me!).
For the soup, the most cumbersome part of the whole thing is actually cooking your chicken. You can do this however you prefer. But, whether you bake it or saute just make sure that you cook it in the same dutch oven that you will cook the rest of your soup in so you don’t lose the juice from the chicken. It’ll add flavor to your soup. Especially since chicken breast isn’t the most flavorful if you ask me, but it makes the best meat for a soup.
Getting to the chicken, you have two ways to cook. Bake or saute.
Baking the chicken
If you decide to bake, just preheat your oven to 350°F, salt and pepper both sides of the chicken and bake for 25 minutes covered.
Saute the chicken
Salt and pepper the chicken. Put a drizzle of olive oil in your dutch oven and cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes on each side or until completely cooked through.
Remove from pan and set aside. You can actually cook the chicken the night before to save time.
On with the soup
Now chop your onion, crush the garlic and deseed and chop the jalapeño. Super important to pull out the seeds or your kids will not be happy with the overly spicy soup you’ll end up with.
Add another drizzle of oil to the dutch oven and saute the onion, garlic and jalapeños over medium heat until the onions are nice and clear.
Now add the rest of your ingredients to the soup. One can each of beef and chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, rotelle (mild or spicy) and tomato soup. Also, 1 1/2 cup of water, 1/8 cup of chopped cilantro, 1/2 tablespoon each of cumin and chili powder, 1/2 small bag of shredded cabbage, and the diced squash and zucchini.
If you want it to cook a little quicker, dice the zucchini and squash semi-small about 1/4-1/2 inch cubes. Your cilantro adds tons of flavor and freshness to the soup.
Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium and cook 15 minutes or until veggies are cooked. Add the diced chicken and heat through.
You’re all done! Scoop into a bowl and now you have to add some tortilla chips and sliced avocado. It really makes the soup. Sprinkle a little mexican cheese or cheddar jack, too.
This soup is even better the next day and makes a great lunch as well.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!