Mexican Chicken Soup (with Vegetarian option)

In my college years, I fell in love with tortilla soup. Not the watery kind, with random bits of soggy tortilla floating in a broth, but the kind where the tortillas completely dissolve, creating a thick and uniform texture throughout.

However, when I actually attempted to make a similar tortilla soup at home, I realized that it’s probably not the healthiest thing to be consuming on a regular basis. I needed to use a LOT of corn tortillas to recreate that texture!

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Fortunately, I’ve discovered a soup that I love just as much–> without the need for any corn tortillas.

This soup is loaded with vegetables and Mexican-inspired spices, and gets its thick texture by simply using an immersion blender! This version is just as hearty and delicious as any traditional tortilla soup, while being much easier on the digestive system. It’s become a regular weeknight meal for us!

This soup can be made with or without chicken, with fantastic results. Austin and I fell in love with tortilla soup back when we were vegetarians, so that’s still the way we make it the most often, with the addition of cooked quinoa or black beans, instead of chicken. Either way, this soup is sure to be a hit!

Mexican Chicken Soup (with vegetarian option)
serves 6-8

Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon coconut oil (or grass-fed butter)
1 onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, chopped (seeds removed)
2 1/2 cups water
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 lb organic chicken breast or thighs, chopped into 1″ cubes

*Vegetarian option: Replace chicken with 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa or wild rice, or 1 (15 oz.) can of black beans

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat, and saute the onions, celery and carrots for about 10 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and chopped chicken (if using), and saute for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is nearly cooked through. Add the water, diced tomatoes with juice, jalapenos, cumin, sea salt, black pepper and chopped cilantro, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the temperature and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.

blend soup

Use an immersion blender to gently puree the soup to your desired texture. You can make it as chunky or blended as you like! I was actually surprised how well the immersion blender shredded the chicken, too.

*If using a vegetarian option, such as quinoa or black beans, I prefer to add them in after using the immersion blender, for texture. You’ll just need an extra minute or so of cooking time after adding them in, to make sure everything is heated through.

Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve warm!

5 from 8 votes
Print
Mexican Chicken Soup (with vegetarian option)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

This soup is loaded with vegetables and Mexican-inspired spices, and gets its thick texture by simply using an immersion blender!

Course: Soup
Servings: 6
Calories: 119 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon grass-fed butter
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 2 celery ribs , chopped
  • 3 carrots , chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 jalapeños , chopped (seeds removed)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt , or to taste
  • black pepper , to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves , chopped
  • 1 lb organic chicken breast or thighs , chopped into 1" cubes
Vegetarian option: Replace chicken with 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa or wild rice, or 1 (15 oz.) can of black beans
    Instructions
    1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat, and saute the onions, celery and carrots for about 10 minutes, until tender.
    2. Add the garlic and chopped chicken (if using), and saute for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is nearly cooked through.
    3. Add the water, diced tomatoes with juice, jalapenos, cumin, sea salt, black pepper and chopped cilantro, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the temperature and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
    4. Use an immersion blender to gently puree the soup to your desired texture. You can make it as chunky or blended as you like! I was actually surprised how well the immersion blender shredded the chicken, too.
    5. *If using a vegetarian option, such as quinoa or black beans, I prefer to add them in after using the immersion blender, for texture. You'll just need an extra minute or so of cooking time after adding them in, to make sure everything is heated through.
    6. Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve warm!

    Enjoy!

    Reader Feedback: Are you a fan of tortilla soup? If so, do you prefer the chicken or vegetarian version?

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    Comments

    Amy

    PS. I illuminated 5 stars!!!

    Lisa

    We just made this recipe for lunch today and it was great! All 4 of my kids even loved it (but I did leave out the jalapeños for their sakes). I also didn’t have cilantro on hand, so I used Italian flat-leaf parsley. I used already cooked and shredded frozen chicken, which made it come together even quicker. I love that you don’t need chicken broth for this recipe, since I don’t always have some homemade broth thawed. Thanks for a great recipe! 🙂

    Sandy

    This looks delicious! Has anyone experimented with putting this into a slow cooker? I’m returning to a “normal,” 8-5 job and the slow cooker will be my best friend, I’m afraid. 😉

    Lisa

    Excellent! And has options to vary. I added about half of an orange sweet pepper before blending. Avocado on top with plain yogurt to garnish.

    Stephanie

    What brand of an immersion blender do you recommend? I’ve researched and compared to see which one is best one for us to use for a long time even it can deal with hot and cold foods.

    Kate

    This recipe was OUTSTANDING! You’re definitely my favorite blogger… every recipe I’ve made on this site has been great, and healthy to boot! Thank you for posting and creating so many wonderful things Megan!

    Kelly

    This turned out fantastic! I made it meatless and only added quinoa. I will admit to using chicken broth, and surely it would be just as good with vegetable broth (which I didn’t have on hand). If this soup tastes THIS good immediately after cooking it, one can only imagine how good it will taste after a night of flavor-melding in the fridge!

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