Food, Lifestyle

California Chicken Tortilla Soup

May 15, 2015


London has some of the best restaurants with food from all over the world, but as a California native, I’ve found that good Mexican grub is hard to come by. It’s one of the first things I have to eat when I go back to Cali – apart from the obligatory In-N-Out Burger of course. In times when good tex Mex is hard to find, I turn to Pinterest for foodspiration, where I stumbled across this delicious home-made Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. It is super easy to make with inexpensive ingredients and will impress the pants off your friends. If you’re craving a dose of healthy Mexican comfort food then I can’t recommend this dish more highly!

I tweaked the recipe slightly and included a few extra toppings I usually add to a burrito to make this soup really burst with flavour. So without further ado, here are the ingredients you will need for California Chicken Tortilla Soup. Prep time, 20 minutes. Cooking time, 4-6 hours with a slow cooker. Serves up to 6.


3 skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite-size pieces

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup salsa

2 cups frozen or fresh corn

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed. Pinto  or kidney beans make a great substitute! 

1½ cups water

1 teaspoon ground cumin

A handful of diced coriander

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Optional ‘Cali’ style toppings (recommended!): 

sour cream or crème fraîche

diced tomatoes

spring onions


1 diced avocado


tortilla strips

I chose the recent Bank Holiday weekend to make this dish for the first time with my new slow cooker from my bestie Boo, which is a truly life changing kitchen gadget. I was worried about leaving a mini hot oven ‘on’ at home while being out of the house for a few hours, but it turns out you really cannot screw up or burn the house down with a crock pot. Hoorah! So, start with lining your slow cooker with a light layer of olive oil or butter and cut your chicken breasts into small bite size pieces. I use kitchen scissors but use whatever you find easiest. Place the chopped chicken at the bottom of your slow cooker.

In a separate mixing bowl, add two cans of cream of chicken soup – I’m sure you can make this yourself if you want to be super organic/domestic goddess, but I just used store bought pre-made soup for ease.

IMG_4349Next up, add two cups of frozen or fresh corn to the cream of chicken soup. IMG_4350

Followed by one cup of fresh salsa. If you like a bit of ‘kick’ then feel free to sprinkle some fresh chilies in here as well.


Now add one can of drained black beans to the mixture. IMG_4353

Your mixing bowl should suddenly be looking like the colours of the rainbow…IMG_4355Add 1 1/2 cups of water on top and give the mixture a good stir.


Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of ground cumin on top followed by a handful of freshly diced cilantro and give the bowl one last final stir.


Pour the soupy mixture on top of the chicken breast pieces and set your slow cooker as follows: 6 hours on low temperature or 4 hours on high. That is honestly all you have to do – I couldn’t believe it! In a few hours your kitchen will be smelling wonderful!


Now for the final touch – the toppings. Let the soup cool for a few minutes and then add the grated cheese evenly throughout, so it slowly melts.


Dice up the tomatoes, spring onions, and an avocado and have a pot of sour cream or crème fraîche at the ready. Add the tomatoes and spring onions to the soup.

Using a ladle or soup spoon, fill your bowl with soup and make sure you take a good whiff – the smell of Chicken Tortilla Soup is truly out of this world! IMG_4414


Last but not least, add some diced avocado, a good scoop of crème fraîche or sour cream and sprinkle tortilla strips and a bit more diced cilantro on top. Your soup is ready to be admired and devoured – bon appétit!
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