Chicken Tortilla Soup

It’s time to spice up your life with a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup!  The inspiration for this recipe came from a local restaurant but unfortunately, I cannot order it anymore as all their soups contain gluten.  That makes me sad, because most of the ingredients in Chicken Tortilla Soup are naturally gluten free. 

I made mine with big chunks of chicken, beans and veggies.  I love the heat from garlic, jalapeno, chili flakes and cumin (could this soup cure the common cold?).  If you don’t already have Chipotle chili and cumin in your spice rack it’s time for a run to the grocery store! 

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The soup is thick and hearty on its own, no flour is needed.  It needs no adornment other than a sprinkle of gluten free tortilla strips, if you can’t find them locally order here!    


  • 2 chicken leg quarters 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • Olive oil 
  • water to cover
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 onion, diced 
  • 2 carrots, sliced 
  • heaping tbsp. minced garlic
  • heaping tbsp. minced jalapeno
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste 
  • 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes 
  • 1/2 tsp. Chipotle chili 
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp. onion granules 
  • salt, to taste 
  • 1 cup canned black beans 
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn 
  • Gluten free tortilla strips 


Heat a deep skillet over medium low, add a little olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add bay leaves and water to cover.  Simmer for 90 minutes on low. 

Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove meat from the bones.  Refrigerate meat until the soup is ready.  Reserve the liquid.

In a clean stock pot, add 1 tbsp. olive oil with the onions and carrots, and cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat.  Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 30 seconds.  Make a spot in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste.

Toast for 2 minutes, then strain the reserved chicken broth into the pot.  Add the fire roasted tomatoes, and all of the seasoning. 

Cover and simmer 1 hour, then add the black beans and corn.  Simmer 30 minutes longer.  Taste and add salt if needed. 

Stir in the reserved chicken, heat through and serve.

Garnish each bowl with tortilla strips.

Notes: ♪♫ I love soup season!  I could eat soup every day and I have a great selection of soups and stews on the blog that will keep you warm through the winter months.  All gluten free and delicious!  Check out all my Gluten Free Soups, Stews and Chowders here!

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Easy Mexican Spice Blend

Whisk together an easy Mexican spice blend for all your Cinco de Mayo recipes.  I prefer to purchase single spices for my pantry to create my own mixes.  It is both easy and economical.

This is a spicy blend!  You can use more or less as desired to suit your palate.  I do like it spicy, but of course it depends on who you are cooking for.


  • 1 tbsp. crushed Chipotle Chile
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. onion granules
  • 1 tsp. cumin


Measure the ingredients then grind in a coffee grinder or use a mortar and pestle.  Store in an airtight container.

Notes: ♪♫  Single spices are much more likely to be gluten free, while some purchased blends may contain gluten.  To be certain, always check labels and if necessary contact the manufacturer.

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Tomatillo Sauce – Salsa Verde

I remember the first time I ever had Tomatillo Sauce.  Now, let’s just say I am an Italian girl, so please forgive my first thought – what the heck is a tomatillo?  Also known as Salsa Verde or Green Salsa, I started ordering it with my favorite Mexican chicken dinner and found I really liked it.

Then one day in the produce section I spotted the tomatillos.  Aha!  So that’s what they look like!  Not very impressive with their dry wrinkled husks, but I was curious enough to try making a small batch of Tomatillo Sauce at home.  This is a mild sauce, so if you want something spicier you will need to add jalapeno or hot pepper flakes.  For great flavor, be sure to use fresh cilantro and use both the leaves and stems.

Recipe makes about 1/2 cup and can be doubled or tripled if using as a dip.


  • 4 tomatillos (about 4 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Mexican Spice Blend or more to taste
  • juice of 1/2 small lime (about 1 tbsp.)


Peel and wash the tomatillos, then cut in half.

Place the tomatillos with the next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a small sauce pan.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat.

The tomatillos will cook down until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or small electric chopper.  Add the lime juice and spice, then puree the ingredients until smooth.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This sauce is delicious brushed on grilled chicken, veggies or any savory food.  You can also serve it with chips as a salsa.

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