Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup can officially go down as one of my favorite meals ever! I have always been partial to this soup on restaurant menus & one of my very favorites has always been Chili’s version of this recipe.
Many years ago I found a make alike recipe that helped me “crack the code” on how to make this yummy soup. For some strange reason, this soup I love so much got put on the figurative “back burner”.
Really more than the back burner, I have no idea where that recipe went and haven’t made it since, but I still recall two key ingredients: masa harina & Velveeta.
Now – many years later, I decided to make my own version of Creamy Tortilla Soup.
I started by making my homemade chicken stock using rotisserie chicken bones I have been saving & freezing.
Once the stock was finished simmering away, I added just a few things to make this yummy soup:
- evaporated milk
- my homemade taco seasoning
- cream cheese ((light works great))
- rotisserie chicken
- celery, carrots & onions
- diced tomatoes
- masa harina
I heated the veggies and taco seasoning first. This allowed the natural oils from the spices to release and the veggies to sweat a little. Be careful at this stage – stirring frequently. The spices can burn easily and that is bad ((trust me I know)).
I was so distracted after burning my first batch of seasoning & veggies that the next picture I snapped was when I added some salt and masa to the soup. After the veggies and seasoning did their thing ((which wasn’t the part where they burned)), here is what happened next, I added:
- Homemade stock to my pot, leaving about 1½” of space from the top. ((This is a 7qt pot))
- One can of evaporated milk ((there are 2 pictured but I only used one)). Using evaporated milk in place of cream & calories cuts the fat by a lot!
- 1 to 1½ c masa harina ((Start out with 1 cup and add more if necessary)).
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt, or season to taste. ((I used salt-free homemade stock and salt-free taco seasoning, so the amount of salt I used may differ from what you need.))
Give it all a good stir & allow the masa grains to soften and work some thickening magic. At this point, you may want to add another ½ c or so depending on your desired thickness. What is nice about using masa is it adds that yummy corn tortilla flavor & thickens the soup all at the same time. As a bonus for my GF friends, this allows this thick & creamy soup to be gluten-free.
As the sun lowered outside, I finally switched the lights on inside! What a difference the interior lights make! I allowed the soup to simmer away for 45 minutes or so before adding the chicken & softened cream cheese. I stirred continuously until the cream cheese was completely incorporated in the soup.
I garnished the soup with some fresh cilantro and served it with my homemade oven roasted salsa. Wow, it was so good! Creamy & spicy and the masa added that yummy corn tortilla flavor I always hope to find in tortilla soup. The homemade chicken stock and added veggies screamed homemade goodness.
I am so happy the kiddos loved it — they called it queso soup. Hey, it does resemble queso which helped the carrots and celery go down a lot easier. Hopefully I can keep track of this recipe — it needs to be on repeat status for sure!
- 2 T homemade taco seasoning - see link to recipe in blog post
- 2 c of diced onion
- 2 c diced carrots
- 1 c diced celery
- 10 c low ((or no sodium)) chicken stock - I used homemade ((recipe link in the body of this post))
- 1 - 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes ((either plain or a Rotel type, depending on your heat preference))
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 to 1 1/2 c masa harina
- 1 8 oz block of softened cream cheese ((I used light))
- 2-3 c diced rotisserie chicken
- salt & pepper to taste ((1-2 t salt & 1/4 t pepper))
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- Over medium flame, heat onions, carrots & celery with the taco seasoning. Stir often for 5 minutes.
- Once the veggies have slightly softened and the spices have released their oils, add chicken stock, diced tomatoes & milk and bring to a boil. While the soup is boiling, add 1 c of the masa harina. Stir and allow to continue to boil for 5-10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add additional masa harina if you desire a thicker consistency. I let the soup simmer at this stage for about 45 minutes,but as soon as the masa has softened, you can proceed to the next step if you are short on time.
- Continue to boil and add cream cheese, stirring until the cheese has completely incorporated. Add chicken, continue to boil until chicken is heated through ((about 3 minutes)). Turn off the flame & serve. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.
- In the above ingredient picture ((located in the body of this post)), I have included a can of tomato and peppers. I didn't add this can because the taco seasoning added all of the heat my kiddos would tolerate. If you want more heat, add a small can of tomato/jalapeno salsa.