Chicken Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Cilantro

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Cilantro
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About This Recipe

Hello, fellow home chefs, wine enthusiasts, and California food lovers! Lily here, your friendly Napa Valley local, ready to share a warm, inviting recipe that captures the essence of Napa Valley's culinary heritage. This Chicken Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Cilantro is a delightful way to explore the vibrant, diverse flavors of our beloved wine country.

While walking through Oxbow Public Market, I was inspired by the fresh, local produce and the aromas of spices wafting through the air. Drawing from these sensory experiences, I crafted this recipe to highlight the bold, zesty flavors that meld together so beautifully in this comforting soup.

To prepare this delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup, start by sautéing onions, garlic, and jalapeño in olive oil. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and shredded, cooked chicken, allowing the flavors to meld together as they simmer. Then, stir in corn, black beans, and spices, like cumin and chili powder, to bring depth to the dish. Serve your soup topped with crispy tortilla strips, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime for a burst of brightness.

Accompany your Chicken Tortilla Soup with a side of warm, grilled cornbread from a local bakery, and a zesty, farm-fresh salad featuring mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced radishes, tossed in a light vinaigrette.

For dessert, consider a refreshing lime sorbet or a creamy, vanilla flan to cleanse your palate and highlight the Mexican-inspired flavors of your meal.

To elevate your dining experience, pair your soup with a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, such as those from Frog's Leap Winery or St. Supéry Estate. The wine's crisp acidity and citrus notes will balance the richness of your soup, creating a harmonious and memorable meal.

As you savor each spoonful of your Chicken Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Cilantro, let the bold, satisfying flavors transport you to the picturesque vineyards and lush farmlands of Napa Valley. Immerse yourself in the rich history, culinary traditions, and stunning beauty of our cherished wine country.

Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Avocado

The Wonders of Avocado

Avocado, a key ingredient in our Chicken Tortilla Soup, is not only delicious but is also known as a superfood. Originating from Mexico, avocados have graced our dishes with their creamy texture and versatile flavor for centuries. They're packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamins E, C, B6, and folate. Integrating avocados into your soup not only provides a delightful creamy contrast but also elevates the nutritional value of the dish.

‘How to’ Technique Spotlight

Perfectly Dicing an Avocado

  1. Wash the Avocado: Always start by giving your avocado a good rinse. Even though you aren't eating the skin, it's essential to remove any residues.
  2. Cut Lengthwise: Hold the avocado securely and slice lengthwise until you feel the knife hit the pit. Rotate the avocado and cut all the way around.
  3. Twist & Open: Twist both avocado halves in opposite directions to separate them. One side will have the pit.
  4. Remove the Pit: Carefully tap the pit with your knife so it sticks. Give it a twist, and it should come right out.
  5. Dice in the Skin: Without piercing through the skin, make vertical and horizontal cuts to create a grid, adjusting the size based on your desired dice size.
  6. Scoop Out: Using a spoon, gently scoop out the diced avocado pieces.

Chicken Tortilla Soup FAQs

  1. Can I use a different type of meat other than chicken? Absolutely! Turkey is a great substitute if you're looking for a similar texture and flavor. For a vegetarian option, try adding tofu or simply increasing the amount of black beans.
  2. How can I store leftover soup? Store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For best results, store toppings like avocado and tortilla chips separately.
  3. I'm allergic to cilantro. What can I use as a substitute? If you're not a fan of cilantro or are allergic, you can use fresh parsley or even a sprinkle of green onions for a different flavor profile.
  4. Can I make this soup in a slow cooker? Yes! Add all the ingredients except for the toppings and cilantro. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Stir in cilantro before serving.
  5. Which other spices can I add for a flavor boost? For added depth, consider adding a pinch of chili powder, coriander, or even a bay leaf while simmering.

Tips for Success

Ensuring Soup Perfection

  1. Enhance Depth with Charred Vegetables: Before adding them to the soup, consider charring the onions, garlic, and jalapeño on a grill or stovetop. This adds a smoky depth to the dish.
  2. Freshly Squeeze Your Lime: The freshness of the lime juice can make all the difference. Avoid bottled lime juice and opt for freshly squeezed for a burst of zesty flavor.
  3. Serve Immediately: To enjoy the crispiness of the tortilla chips and the freshness of the avocado, serve the soup immediately after cooking. This ensures all ingredients are at their best and most flavorful.

Recipe Overview

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Cilantro
Lily Anderson
6 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works well)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups tortilla chips, crushed
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Additional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, diced red onion (optional)

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeño, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Add the shredded chicken, black beans, and corn to the soup, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until heated through.
  4. Stir in the chopped cilantro just before serving.
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, diced avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Add additional toppings such as sour cream, shredded cheese, and diced red onion, if desired.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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