Patch’s Tavern: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy and great on a cold day!

This is not your typical soup recipe. I’ve tried tortilla soup everywhere and this is the best I have found hands down. A friend of mine many years ago actually came up with this recipe, and another friend made some changes to evolve into this recipe. Tortilla Soup is a traditional southwestern dish, and soup lovers will love it.

This recipe works well as a soup before a meal or as the meal itself. The original recipe called for dried cilantro, but I recommend adding fresh cilantro if you can. Turkey or pork may be used in place of chicken. You can also make it vegetarian and leave out the chicken, add diced potatoes and black beans. Substitute chicken broth with veggie broth. Also a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some chopped green onions as garnishments works as well. 

This soup is great for a cold wintry day. If you haven’t tried it, you should try cooking up a pot this week. Please don’t let the long list of ingredients dissuade you. Anyone can pull this one off, all you do is put everything into the crock pot and walk away. I just recently made this recipe for a Super Bowl party and it was a big hit. The recipe yielded many leftovers for me to have the soup all week, which I love.

Happy cooking and eating!


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast, boiled and shredded (rotisserie chicken can be used)
  • 1 (15 oz) can whole tomatoes
  • 1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
  • 3 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14 ½ oz) chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Few shakes Creole seasoning - optional, but adds a little kick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 boxes (10 oz/each) frozen corn
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese


In crock pot (or dutch oven if no crock pot), combine the shredded chicken (shred with two forks), whole tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chilies and garlic.

Add the water, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper and bay leaf. Stir in the corn. 

Cover and cook on low for at least 6 – 8 hours.  Can be cooked on high for 4 –5 hours, but it is the best cooked all day on low like chili.

Garnish with crumbled tortilla chips and sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese to taste. If you don’t like parmesean substitute with Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese.  You can also add a dollop of sour cream (garnishes really make the soup delicious).

Serve with cornbread on the side.

Jaye V. February 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM
It's also good with hominy vice frozen corn. Reminds me more of traditional Mexican soups that way (posole, menudo, etc).
Jill R. Lewis, Freelance Writer- Photographer February 16, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Wow, that sounds good. Next time I will try to make it with hominy. Jaye, thanks for your comment!


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