Super Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I know I post a lot of soup recipes, even in warmer temps. Don't judge me though! I mean just look at all these recipes....

I like soup.

It might be a problem?!

Speaking of problems……Justin's organic peanut butter cups will be the death of me. Those devils have been haunting me for months now since I started my big break up with sugar. Like “wake up at 3 am and drive somewhere that sells them at that hour” chants come to my mind as I fall asleep. I do great during the day and then my snack cravings come at me like nobody’s business after 7 pm. Most of the time it’s no big deal but lately, those peanut butter cups are all I think about. 

What does this have to do with today’s fairly healthy tortilla  soup recipe?!!!!

Not a whole lot. Except this soup does not taste like healthy food, even though it is packed with veggies and spices.  It's soooo comforting really. And the best part is the slow cooker does the hard work for you! Your whole family will be begging for seconds. (well if they like spicy) I really hope you enjoy this soup as much as Lin and I do. 


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup lager-style beer
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 chipotle chile en adobo, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 6 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • To Serve:
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon Frank's hot sauce
  • Cheese and sour cream (Optional)


  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, brown chicken on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer chicken to the bowl of a slow cooker.

  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add onion and jalapeño to the same pan and cook, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan until they start to soften, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add chili powder, cumin, and cocoa powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beer, raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

  • Transfer to the slow cooker along with the bay leaves, thyme, chipotle pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, green chiles, and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on low setting or until chicken is cooked through and fall-apart tender, at least 4 hours.

  • Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Shred chicken using two forks. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed

  • Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with avocado, onion, cilantro, cheddar and a sprinkle of tortilla chips.  Pass limes and hot sauce at the table.

SOOOOO SOOOOOOOO Delish!!!!! What are your key ingredients that you use in your chicken tortilla soup??!!