Chef Marcus’ Family Recipes

November 16, 2018

I’ve always been a huge fan of chicken tortilla soup. Whether it’s the delicious blend of classic Latin flavors or the mouthwatering aromatics, there’s truly something special about this dish.


Nobody really knows where tortilla soup (aka Sopa Azteca) originated. Some say Mexico City. Others assume somewhere in central or southern Mexico where the Aztecs originally settled. In any case, that hasn’t stopped us from enjoying it today!


This recipe is sure to be a healthy crowd pleaser—thanks to the antioxidant-rich tomatoes, olive oil, cilantro, avocado, onion, chili, and spices used. The key is to not be overwhelmed by the ingredient list. Although it may be long, it still takes minimal time for maximum enjoyment.


Chicken Tortilla Soup


2 tbsp canola oil, divided

2 (10 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 tsp chili powder, divided

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp ground cumin, divided

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp granulated garlic

2 small ears of corn, shucked or 1 ½ cups frozen corn

1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 ½ cups)

2 medium carrots, diced (1 ½ cups)

2-3 stalks celery, diced (1 ½ cups)

1 ½ cups red bell pepper, diced

2 cups diced roasted green chilis

2 jalapeños, seeded and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced (1 ½ tbsp)

6 cups chicken broth or stock

1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Your favorite hot sauce to taste (I like Cholula)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 large avocado diced

Shredded Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips or chips for serving



  1. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to about 450 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp sugar.
  2. Brush chicken with 1 tbsp olive oil then season both sides with chili powder mixture.
  3. Grill about 5–6 minutes per side until thickest part of chicken registers 165 degrees. Let rest on cutting board 5 minutes then dice into small cubes.
  4. If using fresh corn cobs, grill shucked corn on medium-high heat, turning every 3 minutes, until slightly charred, about 9 minutes total. Cut corn kernels from cobs.
  5. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  6. Add onion, celery, carrots, and red bell peppers and sauté 5 minutes. Then add jalapeños, green chilies, and garlic and sauté 2 minutes longer.
  7. Pour in broth, tomatoes, remaining 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, granulated garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add Worcestershire and hot sauce.
  8. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. If using frozen corn, add during the last 5 minutes.
  9. Add chicken and corn to soup along with cilantro and lime juice. Add diced avocados to each serving as well as cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.