30-Minute Tortilla Soup

30-Minute Tortilla Soup

Last year I tagged along with my husband Colm to a work conference in San Antonio. Our first vacation without the kids in over 14 years! We had a lot of fun exploring San Antonio, strolling along the Riverwalk and visiting historic places like The Alamo. (We stayed at a haunted hotel, The Menger Hotel right across the road from The Alamo. But the only thing that haunted us was the boys basketball tournament participants that were staying in the rooms above ours, lol.) While we were in San Antonio I became obsessed with Tortilla Soup. I ordered it nearly everywhere we ate, along with a margarita! I mean when in Texas, right?!? I couldn’t wait to get home and recreate the recipe.

San Antonio Texas

San Antonio Texas

I looked up several recipes in search of the perfect one. The recipe from Ree Drummond, otherwise known as The Pioneer Woman, came highly recommended, but all the recipes were so complicated with tons of prep-work, and I didn’t have the time or patience for that.

So I decided to create my own version of Tortilla Soup. It was easy, quick to make and so delicious… everyone liked it. And it goes really well with an Inside Out Grilled cheese made with pepper jack cheese.

30-Minute Tortilla Soup


30-Minute Tortilla Soup

It’s even better the 2nd day!

  • Author: Kate Kelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Cups
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 32 ozs low salt chicken broth, or chicken stock*
  • 32 ozs water*
  • 4 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon® All-Natural Reduced Sodium Chicken Base*
  • 2-10 oz can Rotel with liquid (I used the mild kind so my kids would eat it)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked roasted chicken, more or less to taste
  • 2-15 oz cans black beans, well-drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (not onion salt)
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Perfect Pinch Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon La Costena diced chipotle peppers in sauce
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapenos (or to taste)
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced, for garnish
  • tortilla strips or chips, for garnish
  • Cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish, if desired


  1. Dump everything EXCEPT the avocado, tortilla strips, cheddar cheese and sour cream into a large stock pot, cover and cook to a boil for at least 15 minutes.
  2. If you prefer a thicker broth, add 2 TBS corn starch to about 1/3 cup cold water, stir until well mixed and then add to boiling soup, repeat as necessary to desired thickness.
  3. When you are ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls, then top with avocado, tortilla strips, cheddar cheese and sour cream.
  4. Enjoy!


*I had several people ask why I used both broth AND Chicken base… I find it gives the soup a richer, more robust flavor, since the chicken isn’t cooking in the broth for hours like a typical chicken soup. You can substitute 8 cups water and 8 tablespoons of the chicken base or 64 oz of chicken stock, whatever you have on hand.

30-Minute Tortilla Soup

Comments 10

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    1. Post

      Great question, Diane! The first time I made this soup, I didn't realize that there wasn't enough chicken stock to make soup for 7 people–it seemed like a lot until I poured it into the pot! So I made more stock with the water/bouillon paste (I never use bouillon cubes, too salty!). The soup was very tasty.

      The next time I made it I used only canned stock and the soup didn't taste chicken-y enough for me. So I added the bouillon/water and Voila! the flavor was much better. I'm sure it would be just as tasty skipping the stock and using only the bouillon and water, but I figured, don't fix what's not broken, right? Now I always use a combination of stock and bouillon… unless of course I take two days and make bone broth, which I never have the time or patience to do! You can also use Knorr Homestyle Stock (http://www.knorr.com/product/detail/245822/reduced-sodium-chicken-stock) it has better flavor than the cans of stock.

      On a side note, one day I was making chicken vegetable soup and needed more broth so I grabbed the bouillon paste and added some more to the pot, only after I added it did I realize that I used beef bouillon! But you know what? My husband said that was the best soup I'd ever made! So now when I need a little flavor kick I will add some beef bouillon to my chicken soup!

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