Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of those easy weeknight dinners that makes amazing leftovers and can be made in as little as 30 minutes. A fantastic addition to a lazy day soup or a fun Taco Tuesday twist, fresh limes paired with Mexican spices is light, good, and as an added benefit, keto, and low carb.
There are no heavy creams and chicken lime soup is not thick, so it’s super easy to eat without feeling too weighed down. The lime flavor isn’t overpowering and Mexican soups like this are so easily customizable with adding fresh cilantro leaves, tons of chopped avocado, and a scoop of sour cream.
Why this recipe works
Great Toppings: White chicken chili and Mexican-inspired soups are super popular with my kids because the toppings can be really customizable to each member. I like to put out various toppings in a bowl everyone can choose from, like cut-up tomatoes, jalapenos (chilies), black olives, shredded cheese, and avocado. Also adding a bowl of cut-up limes, sour cream, and salsa really load it up.
Quick and Easy: Chicken tortilla soup falls under one of the easiest meals I make during the week, and you will find it simple as well. The main source of time with chicken soup is simply cooking the chicken through.
Healthy and Protein-Packed – Keto and low carb friendly, this tomato-based soup contains a lot of chicken and is a great source of filling protein. Because soup is really forgivable, it’s fine to add more or less chicken as well.
Lime soup is also easily servable and just as delicious if you put some crunchy fried tortilla chips on top or even scoop up some of the chicken with tortillas (that’s what we do). In under 30 minutes, you can be enjoying this delicious, flavorful, Mexican Inspired soup! Let’s get started on the menu:
- Chicken – Cut up and cook chicken in onion and minced garlic. If you want to cut down on time for this soup, use already pre-cooked and seasoned Rotisserie chicken that you can get in any deli department.
- Seasonings: oregano, salt, thyme, pepper
- chicken broth
- 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes OR 14.5 oz. of salsa – One trick that I love to do is add a can of salsa over a can of plain diced tomatoes. Salsa comes in a ton of flavors and you can easily alter the seasonings and heat by adding salsa over plain tomatoes.
How to make this Recipe
Step 1:-2 Add oil, chicken, onion, and garlic to a large stockpot and heat on medium-high heat until chicken is brown and no longer pink.
Step 3-4: Add chicken broth and a can of diced tomatoes OR a can of salsa. Continue to heat on medium-high until boiling. Cover chicken lime soup with a lid and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Step 5: Add oregano, salt, thyme, and pepper and mix well so the chicken is properly seasoned.
Step 6: Cut one lime into wedges and juice the remaining limes into the stockpot. Mix all ingredients well and heat for 1-2 minutes. Serve with freshly squeezed limes, shredded cheddar cheese, and crunchy air-fried tortilla chips.
How do you thicken this soup?
Many people enjoy a creamier soup texture than just broth-based. Luckily there are several ways to create a creamy tortilla soup.
Add a can of refried beans – Dump a whole can of refried beans into the mixture, heat, and stir. This not only thickens the soup but provides a much creamier texture overall.
Pour in a bit of heavy whipping cream OR sour Cream– I love adding a bit of heavy whipping cream to my soups but be careful not to overdo this as it drowns out some of the spices and seasonings. You may need to balance with additional seasonings if you add too much.
Cornstarch – Add about a tablespoon or two into COLD WATER into a cup and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir until liquid and then pour that into the soup and heat. NEVER DUMB cornstarch on its own into hot soup- it will clump! Cornstarch is the most common way to thicken a soup or roast without altering the overall flavors.
What to serve with Tortilla Soup
- Shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blends
- Sour Cream
- Cut up Avocados
- Black Olives
- Pico de Gallo
- Diced Jalapenos
- lots of extra limes
Saving some time: Use a pre-made Rotisserie chicken to cut down on cooking up fresh chicken. Picking up deli chicken can save time and effort and turn this 30-minute soup into a 20-minute one.
Add black beans– Black beans are amazing to add into soups but be sure to RINSE OFF beans before adding to the soup. This makes sure the tomato-based broth doesn’t turn a muddy brown. While it won’t affect flavor negatively, it doesn’t LOOK appetizing if a can of black beans is dumped with all of the creamy sauce it sits in. Rinse and add.
Fresh Herbs Matter: Oregano and thyme are totally fine dried, but use fresh if available when it comes to Cilantro. Cilantro is not only delicious mixed into the soup but makes a gorgeous fresh garnish before serving.
Spice variations that work: This particular recipe relies mainly on onions and garlic as the biggest source of flavor, but I always like to add 1 tsp ground cumin. Load it up: I purposely kept this lime soup with limited ingredients to make for a simple recipe; however, you can really change this up with very little work. Add a cup of frozen corn (or drained corn) or rinsed black beans for additional flavors.
Substitute diced Tomatoes for Salsa: While I love Rotel tomatoes and they come in a variety of flavors that would go super well in this soup recipe, you can cut to the chase by adding a can of SALSA in place of plain tomatoes.
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