Corn Tortilla Chicken Soup

Tricia’s Story

I’m half Mexican so Mexican and Spanish dishes were a mainstay while growing up. My mum would cook this recipe for us as soon as the weather started turning brisk- the spiciness and warmth of the soup was sure to heat us up as the temperature outside dropped. She passed the recipe on to me when I left for university, as it’s cheap and easy to make and one batch lasts for a couple of days. To this day, this meal means winter is coming.


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pack corn tortillas for garnish and sides (optional)
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken stock
230g tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 chicken breasts (or 1 double breast)
500g frozen corn kernels, slightly thawed


1) Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in small frying pan on high. While heating, cut up 6 tortillas into strips. Once oil is hot, added corn tortillas (be careful!) and turn strips with fork or tongs until they are crispy. Pull tortilla strips from oil with tongs and set aside on paper towel to dry.

2) Start heating a large soup pot on medium. Then transfer 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil used in frying the tortillas to the soup pot. Add onion and saute until tender, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chilli powder, cumin, oregano and bay leaf and sauté for 1 more minute. Pour in chicken stock, tomato sauce, salt, sugar and pepper and bring mixture to a boil. Add chicken to the boiling soup (I usually cut the breasts up for faster cooking) and cover with lid. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, for about 20 minutes.

3) Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate or cutting board and cool slightly. Using two forks, shred all chicken finely.

4) Add corn to the soup and simmer until corn is tender, for about 5 minutes. Add shredded chicken back into the soup and simmer for another minute. Serve soup in large bowls with fried tortilla strips on top for garnish.

Optional: It is also great to have some warm tortillas and butter on the side! Simply drizzle water on dry corn tortillas and fold into tea towel (1 tortilla per fold, so no tortillas are touching), then microwave on high for 1 minute.