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This creamy chicken tortilla soup is easier to make than you think. Made from scratch, this spicy, flavorful, and hearty soup is ready in less than 30 minutes.
I love making a pot of creamy chicken tortilla soup when it starts getting cold outside. Honestly, it’s great any time of year, but it’s so warming and filling in the fall and winter months.
This recipe makes the perfect weeknight meal too, because it’s ready in less than thirty minutes. Plus, it makes a fantastic leftover because it can be reheated for several days.
Love quick, stove top soups? Me too! Check out some of my other soup recipes: Cajun Chicken Noodle Soup, One Pot Beef Tortellini Soup (this one is a fan favorite!), Lentil and Basil Vegetable Soup, and Spring Vegetable Soup.
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
This creamy soup is filled with hearty ingredients like pinto beans, black beans, chicken, and corn. You can easily make this soup vegetarian, too – simply omit the chicken, and simmer your soup for 5-7 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Like spicy soup? When dicing your jalapenos, leave the seeds in. Want a milder soup? Use half as many jalapeños – and remove the seeds.
The best part about this recipe, in my opinion, is that the chicken cooks up in the soup base in just 5-7 minutes. By simply cubing your chicken beforehand, it’s the perfect size to eat and it cooks up fast.
What is Masa Harina?
There may be one ingredient that is unfamiliar to you in this recipe – masa harina. What is masa harina? It is basically ground corn that has been treated with calcium hydroxide. Here’s an article with more information: What is Masa Harina?
It has a texture similar to flour, and is used to make corn tortillas, tamales, and more. Masa harina is also used in tortilla soup to thicken it and give it a distinctive flavor.
If you’ve had a chicken tortilla soup in a restaurant and want to mimic that flavor, you’ll want to find masa harina to use in this recipe. I found it in the ethnic section of my local Publix.
Masa Harina Substitute
Buying a bag of masa harina just to make this soup recipe may seem like a waste. I have plans for mine. More soup, of course. Also, homemade tortillas! Yum – I can’t wait.
However, I understand if you don’t want to buy a whole bag of one ingredient you’ve never used before. I’ve been there, I get it. The good thing is, I have an easy substitute for you.
To replace the masa harina in this recipe, use corn tortilla chips instead. Simply grind your chips up into a fine powder, resembling flour. I like to use my food processor.
While this is not a perfect substitute, it is easy to find and does the trick. This is the perfect time to use the bottom of the bag, potentially stale tortilla chips hiding in the back of the pantry.
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 jalapeños diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 15 ounces canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces canned pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes with chiles
- 15 ounces canned corn drained
- 1/3 cup masa harina *
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 lime
- In a large stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Once heated, add diced onions and jalapeños. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until vegetables begin to brown. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add black and pinto beans, tomatoes, corn, masa harina, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, and paprika to pot. Stir to combine.
- Add cubed chicken breasts to soup. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove lid and add heavy cream. Slice lime in half and squeeze to add lime juice to soup. Stir to combine.
- Remove from heat and serve. Optionally, top with cilantro, cheese, sour cream, avocados, or tortilla strips before serving.