Cheesy Chicken Vegetable and Tortilla Soup

    2 hours 10 min

    Don't be put off by the long ingredients list for this recipe, the resulting soup is really worth it. It's hearty, delicious and perfect for those cold winter nights.

    19 people made this

    Serves: 14 

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 onions, chopped
    • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 4 (400g) tins whole plum peeled tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons dried basil
    • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 3.75 litres water
    • 2 (0.9 to 1.35kg) whole chickens, cut into pieces
    • 5 bay leaves
    • 2 sprigs epazote
    • 450g tomato puree
    • 1 red pepper, julienned
    • 1 green pepper, cut into 2.5cm pieces
    • 2 carrots, sliced thin
    • 240g thinly sliced celery
    • 375g courgettes, diced
    • 3 potatoes
    • 450g spinach, rinsed and chopped
    • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
    • 675g grated cheese
    • 3 corn tortillas, cut into 1.25cm strips
    • salt to taste

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:1hr10min  ›  Ready in:2hr10min 

    1. Heat olive oil in large frying pan and saute onions and garlic over low heat until they are translucent and soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, cumin and black pepper and cook over low heat, partially covered, another 10-12 minutes. Let cool, then blend in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
    2. Bring water to the boil in a large pot. Add chicken, bay leaves and epazote. Water should cover chicken by about 2.5cm. Skim off foam and fat that surface in first 5 minutes. Add reserved puree and tomato puree and cook; partially covered, with liquid at rolling simmer, for another 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving plate. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones, then shred with two forks.
    3. Add peppers, carrots and celery to stock and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add courgettes and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from stock with slotted spoon. Salt stock to taste.
    4. Peel and par-boil potatoes. Then dice and saute in a little olive oil until brown.
    5. Place a scoop of vegetables and a heaping tablespoon of potatoes in a large soup bowl. Next, add tortilla strips, spinach, shredded chicken, avocados and cheese. Pour piping-hot stock over everything and serve immediately.


    Epazote can be purchased in Hispanic speciality shops or online.

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    Reviews in English (14)


    I liked the flavor of this recipe. I did use cilantro instead of the epazote because I've never used it, wasn't sure of the flavor, and didn't want to take a chance on my family not liking it after all the work that goes into this lol. I followed the rest of it to a 't'. I do think it tastes even better the next day (I just mixed everything together in a tupperware instead of saving each layer seperately and it was yummy). I do not however agree with all here that this recipe is worth all the work. I have made some elaborate recipes which are worth all the work, but I am sorry to say, for us this is not one of them. I think it could be done with many shortcuts and have the same flavor. Will tinker with it and find an easier way to make it. But overall flavor deserves 4 stars!  -  28 Oct 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was very good, however I scaled down the number as well as the quantity of ingredients and made some major modifications in order to make this a little less time consuming to prepare. Instead of chicken, I used fully-cooked chicken sausage w/spinach and asiago cheese. Since the sausage had spinach in it I omitted this from the ingredient list. I used chicken broth instead of water, and I used diced tomatoes instead of whole. I did not puree the tomatoes in a food processor. I used tortilla chips instead of corn tortillas, and I also added a dollop of sour cream to the finished dish. I served this to 4 picky teens and they all had seconds!  -  19 Jul 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This soup is absolutely delicious. It takes some work and time, but it makes a huge pot and will last several days.  -  11 Nov 2001  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)