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Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

This is the best tortilla soup you will ever try. Don't forget the crunchy tortilla strips!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: About 1 hour
  • Yield: 6


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 cups chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 large poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 cilantro stems, tied in a bundle, plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more for serving
  • Six to eight 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped, for garnish
  • 1 cup grated queso quesadilla or Manchego cheese, for garnish (optional)


  • Season chicken strips with the cumin, coriander, and chili powder.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-quart or larger soup pot over medium-high heat, add chicken, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, poblano, jalapeno, cilantro stems, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cook, stirring as needed, 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and lightly caramelized. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute longer. Add stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 to 40 minutes. Remove cilantro stems, stir in lime juice, and remove from the heat.

  • In a 12-inch or larger saute pan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 370 degrees. Fry tortilla strips in batches, stirring frequently with a slotted spoon or strainer, until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from oil and set aside on paper towels to drain. Season tortilla strips lightly with salt.

  • Crumble a large handful of tortilla strips and gently stir into soup, to thicken. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with additional lime juice, cilantro leaves, avocado, grated cheese, and fried tortilla strips.


Recipe Details