Nancy’s Tortilla Soup

Nancy’s Tortilla SoupPhoto credit: Matt Dayka
Contributed by: Nancy Newcomer
Contributer Bio: Nancy Newcomer
Nancy NewcomerNancy Newcomer, is a food blogger, radio personality and an accomplished cook & creator of simple, healthy meals made from fresh, organic ingredients. With an emphasis on local farmer’s market bounty, her Facebook blog, Back to the Kitchen: Healthy Living with Real Food is followed by people in more than 25 countries.

She is a contributor to several publications, radio stations, websites, and newsletters including Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations, Today’s Innovative Woman,, Garden of Life Blog. Nancy lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and daughter.

Her son attends college in southern California and visits often for a home cooked meal.

This is one of Nancy's all time favorite recipes, in fact, she loves it so much that she chose it as one of the 3 recipes for her featured spread in the fall issue of Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations. Not only does it taste great, but all the toppings make it very beautiful. Family & friends always like it and it really is a perfect meal for the fall.

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 2 TB chopped cilantro
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large poblano chile, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 TB peanut oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
  • 1-2 avocados, sliced
  • extra cilantro leaves for garnish
  • 2 limes cut into wedges

1. Pour cold chicken broth, chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro and lime juice into a large soup pot, set aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 TB olive oil on medium high.  

3. Pat dry chicken breasts and place in pan to sautee. Add a little salt and pepper. Brown on both sides until almost done, pull out, place on plate and set aside until cool.

4. In the same skillet, add 1 more TB of olive oil, heat to medium high and add onion, red bell pepper, and poblano chile.

5. Sautee until onion is translucent, then add garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper. Continue to cook for about a minute.

6. Transfer veggie mixture into soup pot. Chop up chicken into bite size pieces and add to pot and mix everything together.

7. Before you turn on your stove burner, transfer about 3-4 cups of cold soup mixture into a food processor along with 3 corn tortillas. Blend until it is fully pureed.

8. Transfer back into the big pot and turn on medium high. Bring to a rolling boil then lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes. The corn tortillas thicken up the soup and add a nice flavor.  

9. Take the remaining tortillas and cut in strips.

10. In a clean skillet, add 1 TB of peanut oil and fry strips on high until brown.

11.Place on paper towel to soak up oil, set aside.  After soup is done, serve in bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, red onion, cheese, avocado slices, cilantro and lime wedges.

Please note: You may use 4 cups fresh chopped tomatoes with juice to replace canned.