Chicken and Corn Mexican Tortilla Soup

This is one of my recipes that really benefits from time.  If you can plan ahead at all try to do it at least a few hours in advance or up to 1 day so that the ingredients have more time to come together into a luscious blend of flavor harmony. Yes that’s a real thing. And it reheats beautifully so why not?  But for me the part that really sends this dish over the top is all of those yummy things you serve alongside the soup.  I love the crunch of the tortilla chips, the extra spice from fresh jalapeno, creaminess from the sour cream that also helps to offset the heat, the tangy bite from the fresh lime juice and the avocado – well I just love avocado on anything.  But it works. Trust me.

This is comfort food at it’s best, my friends.  And easy to adjust the spice up or down according to your preference.  The fresh corn in the soup gives it lighter feel than other tortilla soups I’ve had and I hope you agree.  Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!  Pairs well with friends, laughter, and beer.

Chicken Breasts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a baking sheet lined with parchment place the chicken breasts and coat each side with salt, pepper, olive oil, cumin and chili powder.  Bake until done.  I used thin chicken breasts so total cook time was 25 minutes but will vary based on the thickness of the breast.  Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.  Can be done ahead of time. *If you have a slow cooker and want to cook the chicken that way it would be delicious, too.


  1. In a large, heavy bottomed stock pot heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat.  Add in pancetta, and cook for 3-4 minutes until it starts to crisp.  Then add in the onions, corn, carrots and celery and cook for 7-10 minutes without stirring too much until the vegetables start to get a little caramelization to them, and scraping up any yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add in the garlic, jalapeno, chili powder and cumin powder, a little salt and pepper, the zest and juice of the limes, cook for 2 more minutes and then add in the chicken stock, beans and shredded chicken. 
  2. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a low simmer for 30-40 minutes.  The longer it sits the better it will be.  Rewarm if needed and serve with all of the garnishments.
Chicken Breasts

¾ lb chicken breasts

2 teaspoons ground chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt & Pepper


1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 -2oz package diced Pancetta

1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice

2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice

2 celery stalks, cut into ¼ inch dice

3 ears fresh corn, shucked and cut from the cob

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, diced 

1 teaspoon ground chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

2 fresh limes, zest and juice

4 ½ cups chicken stock

1- 15oz can Cannellini Beans

Chicken from above, shredded

Salt & Pepper


Sour cream

Chives or Cilantro

Avocado slices

Jalapeno slices

Tortilla chips

Lime wedges

Serves 6

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