This is one of those easy, hearty soups that warms you from the inside out.  It’s perfect to make on a cold wintery day (much like we have been experiencing lately), but I’ll still make it in warmer weather just because it’s so easy, and it’s just that good.

I got the recipe from my now former boss, and I believe it originates with Rachael Ray.  You can certainly make it without chicken to get a vegetarian version (just use veggie stock instead), and you can add to or take out whatever you want.  It makes for a great spicy tomato soup, or you can load it up with beans, corn, and chicken like I do for a hearty meal.  Paired with some homemade bread, this is a meal you can’t go wrong with.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

olive oil
small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
red pepper flakes (use to your liking)
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 carton (or 4 cups) low sodium chicken broth (or veggie)
1 tsp. cumin
juice of 1-2 limes (depending on how much juice they yield)
8 corn tortillas, cut into strips (I have used flour when there were no corn in the store, and that worked well enough)
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded off the bone (found in the prepared foods section)
2 cans of beans of your choice (I use black and usually dark red kidney)
small container of frozen corn
shredded mexican blend cheese
sour cream (if you’re into that, I am not)

In a medium to large soup pot, heat olive oil (just enough to cover the bottom).  When oil is heated, add in onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add in salt and red pepper flakes, and let cook for 2 minutes.

Add in canned, whole tomatoes.

Add chicken stock, and let come to a simmer.  Simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes.

Add in cumin, lime juice, and tortilla strips.  Let simmer for about 3 minutes more.

Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.  If you don’t have one (you should get one, it will change your life), you can blend the soup in batches using a regular blender (just be careful since it will be super hot).

At this point I start adding in all my goodies, chicken, frozen corn, and beans (that have been rinsed).  I bring everything back to a simmer, so that everything is heated through.

I like to serve the soup with some shredded Mexican cheese on top, and if you like you can also serve with sour cream and cilantro.