Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have two words for you before you move to Portland, OR.

Save. Money. Here are two more words for good measure. For. Reals.

The entertainment, outdoor activities, food, and public transportation in Portland are very affordable, BUT, finding a permanent place to live is another matter entirely. Whether you’re looking to buy a house or rent an apartment, the competition out here is fierce. Be prepared to live in temporary housing, like a hotel or an Airbnb, for 2 months, which is the expensive part. Note, a lot of the Airbnb’s, apartment’s, and lofts can be more affordable if you don’t have a lot of stuff and don’t need a lot of space..

Kieran and I wanted our own space for an entire month, and only a handful of Airbnb location’s allowed cats, so our choices were limited. Also note, the more aggressive you are at finding housing the better. A lot of apartments will do an open house, and the first qualified applicant that shows up is accepted. Which means if you don’t arrive early enough to be first in line, you’ll miss out. It’s not uncommon to see lines of people waiting to see an apartment.

Kieran and I have been looking to buy a house ever since we moved to Portland at the beginning of April. So far, we have put 5 offers on homes and have been outbid on all of them. The housing market is brutal in Portland. We were outbid on one of the homes because the other buyer waved the inspection. You read that correctly…they waved the inspection.

That’s how crazy it is in Portland. People want houses so bad they are willing to cut corners and do whatever they possibly can to win the bid. I don’t know about any of you, but I feel waving the inspection is a HUGE no no! I may have enjoyed the Tom Hanks movie, “The Money Pit”, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to wave the inspection to find out the home I just bought is a money guzzling death pit!! Awww hell naw!

I scour the real estate websites like a hawk and contact my realtor the second a new property I like comes on the market. I’m not joking, by the time I get to the property that day, or the day after, to view it, the home already has multiple offers on it. The last house we bid on had 16 offers. 16 OFFERS!!! That’s insane!!! People are literally throwing money at ANYTHING they can find on the market right now. That being said, the people selling their homes right now are making BANK. So….Kieran and I want to buy a house and be apart of the action.

Honestly though, being unsettled and trying to find housing is the only bad part about Portland. Everything else makes the move here worth it. K and I were downright devastated when we got outbid on the first house….so we walked over to our favorite dive bar called Suki’s. We held hands as we walked to the bar.

We reflected on how we felt about losing the house and how sad we were. As he was talking, Kieran noticed my mouth flopped open and it seemed like I was staring past him….because I was! I was suddenly struck by the sight of Mount Hood, looming majestically and mountain-y in the distance.

The giant snow capped mountain sat quietly parked against the vivid blue sky. A large goofy grin enveloped my entire face. Kieran immediately followed my gaze to view the mountain, then pulled me towards him for a loving hug. That moment reminded us that even though finding a home in Portland is a time consuming, stressful endeavor, we made the right decision by calling Portland home.

OK, enough of that sappy crap…let’s get down to the reason we’re all here……the Food!!!

Chicken tortilla soup

Chicken tortilla soup does it for me…….like straight up….. does it for me.

I’ve always enjoyed flour tortillas over corn…..except when it comes to this soup. The tomato-y based soup, coupled with soft corn tortillas and creamy avocado gets me all hot and bothered. No…not hot and bothered like THAT….you perv……..aww screw it, who am I kidding..of COURSE I mean hot and bothered like that…..I’m sorry I called you a perv.

I got caught in the rain waiting for my bus, coming home from looking at houses, so I was craving some soup. I was planning on making taco’s later in the week so I already had the majority of the ingredients I needed to make Chicken Tortilla Soup on hand. I love it’s almost impossible to fuck up this soup, you can customize it anyway you want.

A lot of recipes I’ve seen for this soup cook the chicken separately in the oven. That’s perfectly fine to do, however, I think searing the chicken in the soup pan to build a fond, then finishing cooking the chicken in the liquid of the soup, builds more depth of flavor in the broth.

Speaking of chicken, this recipe goes perfectly with my new favorite seasoning called Tajin Classico. It’a a bewitching seasoning consisting primarily of lime, chillie peppers, and salt. Kieran and I use Tajin Classico on just about everything. It’s wonderful on eggs, chicken, pork, steak, ect. And no, Tajin is not paying me to tell you all how wonderful their product is, but I wanted to give the seasoning a shout out because it tastes phenomenal!

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Click here to find out what Tajin Classico looks like.

I’ve been told it’s better to make this recipe with tomato paste, rather than tomato sauce, but I didn’t have tomato paste on hand. Besides, tomato paste is wonderful, but I found if I want a rich, tomato-y broth, tomato sauce is a quick way to add depth and amazing flavor.

I used 2 cups of tomato sauce, but you can always add 1 cup while you’re cooking, and add the rest later if you think the soup needs more of a tomato-y kick. I prefer a low sugar, all natural, type of sauce, but by all means, use your favorite, it’s YOUR lunch/dinner after all.

Also note, most chicken tortilla soups call for cumin and not curry powder. As I was making this soup, I noticed my cumin jar was empty….not sure why I didn’t throw the empty cumin jar away when I used the last of it…….but there it was…..empty…..mocking me like the little son of bitch we all know an empty jar of cumin can be. So, I went with curry powder, and it was good, it’s a great substitute if you notice you’ve run out of cumin too!

And you can totally sub out frozen corn for fresh if you want. I happened to have a fresh cob of corn in the fridge, so I cut off the kernels and tossed them into the soup. A bunch of different recipes use corn meal, to give the soup more body, but again, having just moved to another state left my pantry in sad shape, so I had to improvise.

But like I said before, it’s hard to fuck up this soup, unless of course you burn the garlic…then you will MAJORLY fuck up the soup. So…as long as you’re not a garlic fucker upper…you’re soup will be amazing!


Best Chicken Tortilla Soup recipes

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Shock Munch


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 pablano pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 can Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
  • 1-2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili power
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Tajin Classico seasonings
  • ¼ tablespoon pepper
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 ear of corn, with the kernels cut off
  • 3-4 corn tortillas cut into strips
  • 1-2 avocados
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)


  • Combine the curry, chili power, garlic powder, Tajin seasonings, and black pepper in a small dish.
  • Rub the majority of the seasonings onto both sides of the raw chicken breasts, leaving approx 1 teaspoon of the seasonings in the dish for later use.
  • In a dutch oven or large soup pot, heat your oil of choice over medium- high heat.
  • Sear the chicken breasts, on both sides, in the oil. You will finish cooking the chicken later, so don't worry about cooking the chicken through, you just want the surface to be a nice golden brown and you want a fond to form on the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove the chicken and put it on a plate for later.
  • Do not wipe out the dutch oven, but add a little more oil if need be, turn down the heat a little, then the garlic.
  • Stir the garlic around and cook until it becomes fragrant, approx 30 seconds.
  • Now add the onion, red/yellow/pablano peppers, and the remaining seasonings mixture. Give everything a good stir and cook until the veggies start to soften, approx 5-7 minutes.
  • Time to add the liquids! Pour in chicken stock, water, can of tomato/green chillies, and tomato sauce. Scrape the bottom of the dutch oven with a spoon to ensure all of the chicken fond gets released into the liquid, adjust for salt, adding more if necessary, then bring the liquid to a boil.
  • Once the liquid is boiling, turn it down to a simmer, then add the black beans and chicken breasts. Cover and let simmer for approx 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Once the chicken is fully cooked, put it on a plate to cool, set aside.
  • Return the cover to the pot and simmer for another 45 minutes. During this time, once the chicken cools down enough to handle, shred the chicken using two forks.
  • After 45 minutes is up, remove the cover, and add the corn kernels, cooking them in the soup for approx 5 minutes.
  • Add lime juice to the soup, a half at a time, until you like the taste. This recipe makes a big batch of soup, so I used two limes. Now, if you feel the soup needs it, add more salt.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add in your corn tortilla strips and shredded chicken.
  • Serve the soup in bowls, of course, and garnish with cheese, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, whatever you prefer!
  • Enjoy!


Tajín Classico is magical Mexican seasoning consisting primarily of chile peppers, lime, and salt. Since Tajin already has salt, I decided not to add additional salt when making the rub for the chicken.
The majority of recipes I’ve ever seen for this type of soup uses cumin instead of curry powder. I forgot to buy cumin so curry powder is all I had on hand. It tasted wonderful, but if you prefer cumin, use it!
A lot of recipes I’ve seen for this soup cook the chicken separately in the oven. That’s perfectly fine to do, however, I think searing the chicken in the soup pan, then finishing the cooking in the liquid of the soup, builds more depth of flavor in the broth.
Most recipes for this soup don’t use tomato sauce, they use a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. I love using tomato paste, but for this particular recipe, I wanted the broth to have a richer, tomato-y flavor, so I used an organic, low sugar tomato sauce. You can always add 1 cup of sauce first, then add more to taste later if you feel so inclined.

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