Quick + Easy Chicken + Lime Tortilla Soup
My mom and sister both developed this soup recipe together over the last few years, taking a little from this recipe, and a little from that and adding their own spin and it's become a family favorite. It's so good. And so quick to make, too. It's comforting and hearty and warming but pretty easy to whip up thanks to a couple of short cuts. It comes together fairly quickly but it gets even better the next day after all the flavors meld together. This soup is heavy on the lime, which makes for a really flavorful broth. We're talking whole lime halves in the soup! So good.
Usually my mom serves this soup over rice but I accidentally forgot to make some when I made this and I found it plenty filling and hearty without because of the chicken and beans but feel free to make your favorite rice and add it to the mix if you'd like. For the cooked chicken, you could easily poach or bake a couple chicken breasts to add to the soup, but I'd recommend picking up a nice quality rotisserie chicken at the store to cut down on your time in the kitchen. It's a real time saver, especially if you make this soup on a weeknight. And so are canned beans. While I love the idea of soaking and cooking my own beans from their dried state, sometimes I just wanna open a can or organic beans and dump 'em in the pot, you know? My mom usually uses northern white beans, even though they're not traditional but I love the creamy texture. But feel free to use pinto, black, or any other bean you'd like. And when it comes to the tortilla strips, you could certainly use store-bought tortilla chips instead, but if you have 5 minutes, make them yourself. It's not hard and they taste so much better! I hope you love this soup as much as our fam does!
Quick + easy Chicken + Lime Tortilla Soup
makes about 8 servings
2 T avocado oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 T fresh thyme
1 t dried oregano
Himalayan pink salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 t cumin
pinch of cayenne (as much as you can handle!)
5 medium to large limes, washed and halved (preferably organic)
8 cups chicken stock (2 1-quart boxes)
2 15 oz cans of great northern beans, drained and rinsed (you could also use black or pinto)
2 c chicken, cooked and shredded (white and/or dark, whatever your preference)
avocado, sliced or chopped in chunks
sharp cheddar cheese, grated (could also use monterey or pepper jack)
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
tortilla strips (recipe below)
flour tortillas, sliced into thin strips (feel free to use corn if you prefer)
avocado oil (you could also use coconut oil)
Himalayan pink salt
make the soup
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the avocado oil over medium-hight heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, a minute or two. Add in the chili flakes, thyme, oregano, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne and stir them around in the hot oil for about 30 seconds, allowing the spices to bloom. Add in the chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze all the bits. Squeeze in lime juice and add in all the rinds, too. Let the broth come to a simmer then add in the chicken and beans and allow to cook for about 10-15 more minutes, until everything is warmed through. Salt soup to taste.
make the tortilla strips
In a large cast iron skillet heated over medium-high heat, add enough avocado oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add a handful of the tortilla strips to the skillet, being careful not to over-crowd the pan. Toss around in the oil with tongs, flipping so that both sides get golden brown, about a minute or two. Remove tortilla strips and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and repeat with the rest of the strips.
To serve, top your soup with all the fixings: avocado slices, a dollop of sour cream, some shredded cheese, a healthy handful of cilantro, a good squeeze of a lime wedge, and of course tortilla strips. Enjoy!