This is an old recipe, one of the very first that we posted. Sara and I are in Salt Lake City for a few days on some blog-related business, and since it is a balmy 5 degrees here and not a whole heck of a lot better back in Louisiana, I figured there are lots of people looking for something warm and cozy to simmer on the stove.

Now…this isn’t like the thick chicken tortilla soup that they have at Chili’s; it’s brothier (is that a word?) a la Cafe Rio or Costa Vida. It’s super healthy and low in calories, full of fresh, nutritious ingredients and we actually prefer it to traditional chicken soup at our house when we’re stuffed up because of the garlic, lime, and the spiciness that the jalapenos add, helping clear our heads.

 

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85comments

  1. 1
    Eric says:

    mmm…this is sounding really good today. I think it may have to be dinner tonight!

  2. 2
    Owens D.C. says:

    Dawn sent along your website to her friends and I’m super impressed! I only wish I could order your food and have it sent to my house or you could come and cook for week :) They all look really great and I enjoy reading your take on getting excited about cooking…maybe you’ll be “the next food network star.”

  3. 3
    Sara says:

    oops, that was me, not Eric. Although he is sitting right next to me and he agrees :)

  4. 4
    Cami says:

    I’m going to try this for dinner tonight. I am a huge fan of the Tortilla Soup at Cafe Rio, so I’m sure I’ll love this!

  5. 5
    Cami says:

    I did love it! As well as my husband and my kids! I’m so glad there are leftovers for lunch today. Thanks for the delicious recipe.

    You guys are awesome!

  6. 6
    Shelby says:

    kate, i just had to tell you that i made this the other day…sort of. instead of doing a soup, i made it into a salad. i didn’t have the time to marinate the chicken (will definitely try that next time!) but i still used the spices you suggested. and i tried frying up those corn strips too. so yummy! in fact, we made some tortilla chips as well. i started out with a bed of spring mix salad and baby spinach, put on the chicken and avocado with corn strips. for a dressing, we mixed salsa and ranch dressing. thanks for the inspiration!! turned out so yummy.

  7. 7
    Heidi says:

    This is one of my favorite soups so I was really excited for the recipe and it turned out really good! I forgot to wear gloves and wash my hands after cutting up the jalapeno peppers and let’s just say about 12 hours later and a call to poison control I was doing much better and was able to enjoy it. :)

  8. 8
    Jen F. says:

    This is one of the soups that you know was made by someone who loves you. Even the kiddies ate it. Thanks for the great recipe. Question though, do you cut up the chicken and stir it into the soup or do you lay it on top? Just wondering how my leftovers will taste since I mixed my in. Thanks!

  9. 9
    Jillene the Queen says:

    wow! This soup is divine! I just tried it and am so happy to have this great recipe!

  10. 10
    Emily H. says:

    I'm a BIG fan of tortilla soups at restaurants but haven't been able to find a recipie that is as good- until this one! This soup was "soup"er fabulous. :) We loved the lime and garlic flavors. Seriously, the whole fam loved it and my husband and I fought over the left overs. Thanks!

  11. 11
    Katie says:

    LOVED it! I added a can of black beans and a little sour cream! DELICIOUS! My husband even gave it a 9.5!! Plus I loved making the tortillas strips. FUN!

  12. 12
    Christina says:

    I just wanted to say that my husband loves tortilla soup (not to mention he has a super picky pallate). I made this tonight for this cold rainy day and it was a HIT! He keeps raving about it and told me to add it to our 5-star recipes. I was shocked to see that my other 3 picky eaters even ate it up very well. I'm tossing my labor-intensive recipe out and replacing it with this one.

    Also, what a relief today. I was in no mood to dig through recipes for what to make for dinner tonight. I came here and scrolled down the amazing pictures and found what hit the spot:) Thanks for the visual treat too:)

  13. 13
    verοnicа says:

    I'll be making this tomorrow and will come back with the results! So excited. Love your blog ladies, can you tell? Ha!

  14. 14
    the W* family says:

    This soup is soooo yummy! We call it "magic soup"… whenever we are feeling colds come on, we make it and bam! Colds are gone! I think the garlic, jalapeno, and lime scare it away. ;) My husband loves Cafe Rio's soup and is so, so happy that I came across this one! Love it!

  15. 15
    MamaEscandon says:

    This is a great recipe! I had some leftover roasted chicken that I wanted to use up so I had to make some changes… Instead of the taco chicen I added 1/2 tsp of chili powder, 1/4tsp cumin, 1/2tsp oregano, and about 1tsp of sea salt. I needed some extra salt because I used homemade stock instead of canned or boxed broth. I also added about a cup of frozen corn. It made for a super frugal meal and we all really loved it!

  16. 16
    Flower007girl says:

    My belly is full with this soup as I type!!! Thanks so much for your awesome recipes. Even my 4 yr old ate it and had fun with all the toppings.

  17. 17
    Brandon Miller says:

    Making this right now!

  18. 18
    Shelise says:

    I actually just made this a couple of weeks ago for the first time and it was a BIG HIT. I fed a few guests too and every person that ate it absolutely loved it. I added a big chunk of chopped cilantro to the broth and it added a lot of flavor, and I added a few broken up corn tortillas to the broth also. Thanks for this recipe though, its seriously delicious.

  19. 19
    Kristin says:

    I am curious if you could make this in your slow cooker? It sounds delicious and I can't wait to try it!

  20. 20
    Alison says:

    HHHMMM sounds yummy…this is a keeper for me. Thanks for posting

  21. 21
    Mark Petersen says:

    Oh I see what you did there… You slipped in some avocado and instantly made me want to make and eat this. Well played.940610

  22. 22
    Kierst says:

    I have made a similar soup, but without the lime juice. Now my mouth is watering for this! I'm definitely going to try it. Also, I had to chuckle when you mentioned "EVOO" because I got a Rachel Ray cookbook from the library (I've never seen her show) and it said, "add EVOO" and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the heck she meant! Finally I caught on, but really, is olive oil THAT hard to type (or say)?

  23. 23
    Holly says:

    I saw you gals on KSL today! Great job!! You girls are just so dang cute.. and one of my biggest inspirations! Cant wait to buy your book : )

  24. 24
    Natalie says:

    I don't comment very often, but am addicted to your blog. Thanks for the great site and awesome recipes! (This one sure looks yummy!)It was fun to see you two on Studio 5 today.

  25. 25
    Natalie says:

    PS. I served a mission in Louisiana! Love that place. Where are you living?

  26. 26
    mekei says:

    could you dare use prechopped jalapenos? (so you don't want to cough cutting them up????)

  27. 27
    Erica says:

    mmmm….I want some! Tortilla soup is on my top 10 favorite dishes ever. I'll have to try this one.

  28. 28
    Nichole says:

    Yum!

  29. 29
    Adrienne says:

    one of my favorite recipes from your site!! The flavors are AMAZING!

  30. 30
    Heidi says:

    Do you not like extra virgin olive oil or do not like to say it and type it? Just curious. Can't wait to try this recipe. By the way, my husband loves all the new recipes from your blog that I spring on him and the kids. He loves, loves, loves your Key Lime Pie!

  31. 31
    Ashley says:

    YESSSS! i have to make this!!!

  32. 32
    Selena says:

    How funny…this is on my list to make this week. We'll have Taco Chicken with Black Beans on the side one day then this soup the next. Oh and I'm making some extra to also use for the Southwestern Cobb.

    Actually, today I have the Chicken Caccitore in my crockpot and we had Red Beans and Rice last night.

    I guess you could say its an Our Best Bites kind of week at my house!

  33. 33
    RecipeGirl says:

    Delicious- and so perfect for Super Bowl weekend!

  34. 34
    Pam says:

    I love this soup! It is even better when you add a can of drained white hominy (in my opinion!).

  35. 35
    Tales of an Alaskan Housewife says:

    Recipe looks yummy and I will be making it very soon. Just a quick question…your recipe says serranos are milder than jalapenos, but serranos are significantly hotter than jalapenos. I like spicy food and either would be tasty to me.

  36. 36
    ryann2 says:

    This recipe sounds really yummy!

  37. 37
    Janet says:

    This looks so tastie. I think i will have to go to the grocery to get some limes so I can make this for tonight's dinner.

  38. 38
    alliadams says:

    I made this Super Bowl Sunday and it was a HUGE hit! Delicious!

  39. 39
    brenley says:

    delish! made it tonight and i am so impressed. best tortilla/chicken soup ever! bursting with flavor. thanks!

  40. 40
    Kamie says:

    So I always thought serranos peppers were hotter than jalepenos and didn't question it until I saw it posted in a few of your posts. I looked this up after trying to buy a mild green salsa for your yummy taquitos and found out that jalepenos are 2,500 to 8,000 on the heat unit scale compared to 10,000 to 25,000 for serranos. The smaller they are the hotter too. Anyhow, I make thai food all the time with serranos which are crazy hot and didn't want anyone to get more than they bargained for. I love your website. You gals have totally revamped my cooking to which I will be forever indebted

  41. 41
    Anissa says:

    This has great flavor. It's a little too brothy for our liking though, so next time I'd probably cut back to only half of the chicken broth it calls for.
    Thanks for another good one!

  42. 42
    M.W. says:

    So yummy! I don't even like onions at ALL, but I'm totally gobbling them up in this soup, so it must be magical. Love the kick of the jalapenos, too. I only included one (because it's all I had on hand), but I think two would definitely be better. I also tossed in some leftover corn and black beans so I could use them up, which makes it a little heartier. Wish I had made more!

  43. 43
    Marisa says:

    you should post how to get rid of jalapeno burn on hands! owie!

  44. 44
    monica johnson says:

    This soup was fantastic! I have tried several different versions of this soup over the past 10 years and this is by far the best. I think the lime juice is what makes it rock. My husband loved it also.

  45. 45
    meredith says:

    Yep … I’m scared of “2 jalapeno peppers” … do you think the chopped jalapeno peppers that are in the little jar next to the minced garlic and chopped ginger in the produce section would work?

    • 45.1

      Meredith–If you’re worried about the heat, just use one and be sure to remove the seeds and membranes. I probably wouldn’t use jarred jalapeno peppers just because this soup tastes so fresh that they may impact that. But you can definitely control the heat. Hope that helps! :)

    • 45.2
      Amber G. says:

      I used one jalapeno pepper and it was just fine. My 2 year old didn’t even notice.

  46. 46
    Amber says:

    Just made this for the family— this is the BEST tortilla soup ever!!!

  47. 47
    Asia says:

    How many cups does this make? I’m trying to calculate weight watchers points and I need to know servings. For soups I like to go by cup. Any idea?

  48. 48
    Jessica says:

    Maybe a silly question but how much is one can of chicken broth? I buy broth in tetra pack containers so need to figure out how many cups to use?

  49. 49
    Beckie says:

    If you look at the Scoville scale, it will tell you that Serrano peppers are hotter than jalapeno peppers–not the other way around.

  50. 50
    jodi says:

    For the comments about pepper burns on hands, slather sour cream on the burned parts of your hands and wrap in towel. Change the sour cream when it starts to burn again. And then, next time wear a latex glove. From a voice of experience.

    • 50.1
      Sara says:

      Jalepeno Pepper Burns. After being up all night with my burnt hands in a bowl of ice water, a pharmacist told me that Greased Lightning – a degreaser – would get rid of the oils from the peppers that continue to burn no matter how much ice and water you use. Gave it a shot – it worked like a charm and I finally got some much needed sleep.

  51. 51
    Sarah says:

    I made this for my family’s dinner two nights ago and they loved it! Even my boyfriend thought it was okay (high praise from him) although he said it had too many limes. Personally, I liked the flavor they added, but maybe I’ll cut it down to one or two so he does’t spend dinner moaning that he’s drowning in citric acid! haha :)

  52. 52
    Mari Velasquez says:

    I tried this and I absolutely ADORED it! This was delicious!! You have got to try it out!

  53. 53
    pam oldenkamp says:

    Sorry, but serranos are NOT milder than jalapenos. Scoville for jalapenos is 2,000 – 5,000 and serranos are 5,000 to 15,000. Watch out if you use serranos instead of jalapenos, maybe anaheims (scoville not more than 2,5000) but definitely NOT serranos if you want less heat.

  54. 54
    Christine says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. I had been craving chicken tortilla soup and this really hit the spot. I did use a rotisserie chicken and just shredded the meat and mixed it with the spices used for the taco chicken, then added that to the soup. That made it a really easy and quick soup to make.

  55. 55
    Aimee says:

    Thanks for the recipe inspiration. I made a few changes and I felt like I was eating at Cafe Rio!! So Yummy!!

  56. 56
    Hawkeye Honey says:

    Favorite soup of all time! I can down it by the gallon!

  57. 57
    Melissa says:

    I made this tonight, it was amazing! I did make two changes, one, I added fresh corn, which added a hint of sweetness that was great. Two, I didn’t have enough lime juice so I cooked the onions and garlic in a lime riesling olive oil which was awesome and so limey! I also sauted my chicken in the same olive oil. It was fabulous!

  58. 58
    Annie says:

    Absolutely delicious. I don’t have a grill, so I cook the chicken in the soup and then shredded.
    My family loved it. Thanks for the recipe.

  59. 59
    Heather says:

    Is this seriously only 93 calories a serving???!! Or am I doing something wrong?

  60. 60

    Have this on my stove right now and it smells so good and looks so fresh – can’t WAIT to add the lime! :)

    If you want to read a funny post about jalapeno burns, my friend had quite the experience and wrote about it here: http://thecaliforniabeals.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-near-death-experience.html

    Her final solution (that actually WORKED) – peeing on her hands. Who knew?

  61. 61
    Zoe says:

    Hi

    I love all the recipe’s on the blog and feel like you guys have totally gotten me out it the cooking rut I was stuck in! So thank you!
    I had a problem with this recipe and the zip list option. The toppings (cilantro, avocado, cheese etc) are NOT put through to the zip list and I LOVE being able to use zip list to plan my weekly menu. But unfortunately it has left me toppingless the last two times I made this recipe. Pretty tragic if you ask me! So if somehow this could be fixed it would really improve my chicken tortilla soup experience!
    Thanks again for the amazing recipe’s!!!

  62. 62
    audrey says:

    is there a way to adapt this recipe for a crock pot?

  63. 63
    Elba says:

    Wonderful recipe! Loved it.. Just 1 thing.. Serrano peppers are actually hotter than jalapeños :)

  64. 64
    Erica says:

    I made this for the second time last week and I was instantly transported back to Salt Lake City and Cafe Rio. The only thing I was missing was a fresh tortilla. I had plans to make them but ran out of time. This was the recipe that lead me to your site about a year half ago as I was missing Cafe Rio’s soup after moving to Cincinnati. Love it!

  65. 65
    Gayle says:

    How do you print your recipes?

  66. 66
    Cassie says:

    Thank you this soup and many of your other recipes. I have made this soup every week for the past 5 weeks, plus I made it for a Christmas party and friends coming over for dinner and it was a huge hit. I double the batch not and have it all week for lunch. The only I add is frozen sweet corn.

  67. 67

    [...] a few of our mutual friends and me over. She made EVERYTHING and would not let us bring anything. Chicken Tortilla Soup and Key Lime Tarts. So good. Both things have been recipes I’ve wanted to try. And I’m really [...]

  68. 68
    Angie says:

    are you supposed to drain the canned tomatoes before adding them to the soup or just dump the whole can in?

  69. 69

    [...] credit it all to this recipe from Our Best Bites, which calls for fresh lime juice to be added to the soup right before it’s served. THAT, my [...]

  70. 70
    Shannon says:

    This is my new favorite soup! I have had a recipe for Chicken Tortilla soup in my recipe stack for literally years that I have been intending to make…but it has like 7537843 ingredients and has to simmer all day and it is just too intimidating so it keeps getting shuffled to the bottom of the stack. Then I found this. This rivals all of the Chicken Tortilla soups I have ever eaten at restaurants and the best part is that it is SOOOO easy! I was scared of the jalapenos at first, but I went for it and they weren’t really spicy at all, just a nice background heat/flavor. My kids ate it up (even the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and avocados from the bottom of the bowl!!). My only complaint was that it did not make enough for leftovers!

  71. 71
    Lee says:

    Ladies, my daughter made this soup the other day and mentioned what you said about Serrano peppers being milder than Jalapenos–seriously incorrect information. You really need to change the statement on the recipe for those who may not know for themselves.

    With a ranking of 5,000 to 15,000 Scoville units on the chili heat scale, Serranos are up to five times hotter than their cousin, the Jalapeño.

  72. 72
    Lee says:

    I should have mentioned the soup is delicious but not spicy at all. In my case, the Serranos would be a better choice.

  73. 73
    Tracey from NC says:

    GREAT soup! I added 3 tablespoons of double strength tomato paste (in tubes, usually near the pasta in your grocery store) and cooked it just a bit longer since it seemed a tad too “brothy” for us. My husband had three bowls!! My son absolutely loved it. We will certainly have this again.

  74. 74
    Lindsey says:

    It’s been raining all day so I knew it was going to be soup night. I thought I’d try your recipe rather than my usual go-to tortilla soup recipe. Can I just say “WOW!?” This soup is amazing! It has so much flavor! I pulled some shredded chicken from my freezer, and added black beans and corn. Since I hadn’t marinated the chicken, I added Chili powder, cumin, and red wine vinegar directly to the soup while it was simmering. I loved how easy this soup is to make. It’s now my go-to tortilla soup recipe. Thank you so much!

  75. 75

    […] Chicken tortilla soup – our best bites […]

  76. 76

    […] Chicken tortilla soup – our best bites […]

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