Chicken Tortilla Soup with Rainbow Chard, Avocado & Cilantro

Chicken Tortilla Soup

with Rainbow Chard, Avocado & Cilantro

25 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In the cooler months, there’s nothing like a warming bowl of soup for dinner. Our chicken tortilla soup deliciously fits the bill. A dish featuring crunchy, toasted tortilla strips that soften in the broth, tortilla soup has long been a staple of Mexican cuisine. For deep savory flavor, we’re using a classic technique of fine-dining restaurant kitchens: by searing the chicken first, then sautéing the aromatics and spices in the same pan, we’re infusing the soup with the chicken’s robust taste. For extra heartiness, we’re adding rainbow chard and cannellini beans.

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Stack the tortillas; cut in half, then into ½-inch-wide strips. Peel and small dice the onion. Separate the chard leaves from the stems; thinly slice the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Drain and rinse the beans. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Pit, peel and medium dice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Thinly slice the cilantro leaves and stems.

Cook & shred the chicken:
2 Cook & shred the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and ¼ of the spice blend. In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate or cutting board to cool slightly, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan. When cool enough to handle, using 2 forks, shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Bake the tortilla strips:
3 Bake the tortilla strips:

While the chicken cooks, place the tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single layer and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately season with salt.

Start the soup:
4 Start the soup:

While the tortilla strips bake, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and chard stems; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened.

Finish the soup:
5 Finish the soup:

Add the remaining spice blend to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Add the chard leaves, beans and 3 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in the shredded chicken; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Turn off the heat. Stir in the lime zest and the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve your dish:
6 Serve your dish:

Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Top with the avocado and baked tortilla strips. Garnish with the cilantro. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Stack the tortillas; cut in half, then into ½-inch-wide strips. Peel and small dice the onion. Separate the chard leaves from the stems; thinly slice the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Drain and rinse the beans. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Pit, peel and medium dice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Thinly slice the cilantro leaves and stems.

2 Cook & shred the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper and ¼ of the spice blend. In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate or cutting board to cool slightly, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan. When cool enough to handle, using 2 forks, shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Bake the tortilla strips:
3 Bake the tortilla strips:

While the chicken cooks, place the tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single layer and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately season with salt.

4 Start the soup:

While the tortilla strips bake, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and chard stems; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened.

Start the soup:
Finish the soup:
5 Finish the soup:

Add the remaining spice blend to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Add the chard leaves, beans and 3 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in the shredded chicken; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Turn off the heat. Stir in the lime zest and the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Serve your dish:

Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Top with the avocado and baked tortilla strips. Garnish with the cilantro. Enjoy!

Serve your dish:
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