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I'm a London-based food writer, stylist and author. Click here to see more about me and my work

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Chili tomato chicken soup with tortillas

Happy New Year everyone! If you feel like I do…..overfed, toxic levels of alcohol consumption, and an empty bank account, then this is just the ticket. Its another recipe from Meals in Heels cookbook and a healthy contemporary spin on the soup, Sopa di Lima. Sort of the Mexican equivalent of Jewish chicken noodle soup. Your pocketbook won’t suffer with the low-cost ingredients and the tortilla strips are oven baked to keep it low-calorie. A smoky and spicy tomato base with chipotle paste poaches the chicken breasts, keeping them juicy. The meat is shredded and goes back into the soup along with sour lime and whole host of accompaniments ranging from avocado, red onion, cilantro (coriander) and crisp tortilla stripes. Its done start to finish in 35 minutes, and you will be on the road to happiness and health in 2011.

chilli tomato chicken soup with tortilla strips
preparation time 15 minutes
cooking time 20 minutes
serves 6

2 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus olive oil spray
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon chipotle purée or 1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika (pimentón)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
400 g (14 oz) tinned whole plum tomatoes
1½ litres (52 fl oz/6 cups) chicken stock
400 g (14 oz) skinless chicken breast fillets
juice of 2 limes
1 avocado, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF/Gas 6). Use a pair of scissors to cut the tortillas into 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick strips. Place on a baking tray, spray with a misting of oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool on tray.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and coook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add the chipotle purée, cumin, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Add the chicken, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and, when cool enough to handle, shred.

Pour the soup into a blender and purée, in batches, until smooth. Return to the pan, add the lime juice and chicken and stir through. Ladle into small bowls and top with a few pieces each of tortilla strips, avocado, onion and coriander.

Recipe, food and prop styling Jennifer Joyce Photo Mowie Kay


  1. Steven says:

    That looks wonderful!

  2. Sarah says:

    Overfed, toxic levels of alcohol in my system, and an empty bank account – that’s me! So will definitely be making your delicious soup!

  3. Cubicle says:

    Looks awesome!

  4. fooddreamer says:

    This looks wonderful! I am saving right now to my recipes for the near future.

  5. sara says:

    My dad made this and we all LOVED it – fantastic flavor, so yummy! :)

  6. mealsinheels says:

    Thanks, its always wonderful to hear! Try some others!

  7. Shenna says:

    This was absolutely amazing!!! I had to add more spices because I couldn’t get enough heat :)

  8. mealsinheels says:

    Good to hear, you will have to try some others!

  9. mack says:

    Made this last night and it was tasty. Had some extra creme fraiche in the fridge so added some lime juice and zest to that and drizzled on top of the soup. I know, gilding the lily, but I can’t resist tinkering…

  10. mealsinheels says:

    Hey Mack, so nice to hear your voice! That dish is very you! Your tinkering sounded pretty good to me.

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