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.
Making a pot of creamy chicken tortilla soup is the perfect activity 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 chicken tortilla soup is filled with black beans, pinto beans, chicken, corn, tomatoes, and a creamy broth that's filled with flavorful spices.
It makes the perfect weeknight meal too, because this soup is ready in less than thirty minutes. Plus, it makes a fantastic leftover - it reheats beautifully the next day.
What is masa harina?
There may be one ingredient that is unfamiliar to you in this recipe. What is masa harina?
Masa harina 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 for this recipe. I found mine 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. What else can you make with it? More soup, of course. Also, homemade tortillas!
However, I understand if you don't want to buy a whole bag of one ingredient. I have an easy substitute for you!
To substitute masa harina, use corn tortilla chips instead. Simply grind your chips up into a fine powder, resembling flour. I like to use my food processor.
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
- ⅓ cup masa harina *
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
- ½ 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 4-5 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.