a bowl of gluten free tortilla soup
Gluten Free Food

Gluten Free Chicken Tortilla Soup for Two

Ever come across a recipe that’s supposed to be authentic, but it’s not at all like your concept of “the real thing”?

For me, an example is beef stroganoff. The first time I ever ate real beef stroganoff I was cooking it at the Beverly Hills Hotel. That’s right. I was like 23 years old the first time I had real beef stroganoff. And I was like …what the hell is this?

The five star version had real chunks of beef instead of ground chuck. It used ingredients like sour cream instead of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. It was delicious, but it wasn’t my mom’s beef stroganoff.

Even today, though I know how to make the real thing that people will pay $35 a plate for, I still crave the knock off my mom made.

I bet for a lot of people tortilla soup is one of those recipes. I know it is for me.

Looking through different authentic tortilla soup recipes, many of them didn’t resemble the soup I wanted. And that’s OK. Sometimes you want the real deal according to the people who invented the recipe. But sometimes you want the simplified restaurant version, or your mom’s budget gourmet version.

Last week, I wanted an Americanized Mexican restaurant version of tortilla soup. Reverse engineering the flavor in my head, I knew it had to have cumin, tomato, chicken, and white corn tortillas. I considered extras like avocado but decided they weren’t absolutely necessary.

My only other criteria would be that it should be gluten free. Tortilla soups seem like they’re often gluten free anyway, so I just had to keep an eye on my spices, my chicken stock, and the chips to make sure no one snuck any gluten in there.

Gluten Free Tortilla Soup

This recipe – like a lot of things I cook – makes enough for about two people. It should be pretty easy to multiply the recipe to make more soup.

I use a couple pre-made ingredients in this recipe because I’m lazy and I didn’t think the extra effort to make things from scratch would be worth it. But feel free to employ your own man power. Make your own chicken stock, cut your own tomatoes, yadda yadda yadda. Be the overachiever I wish I was.

pico de gallo makes gluten free tortilla soup easier

spices for gluten free tortilla soup
gluten free tortilla chips

Ingredients

  • 1Tbs butter or your choice of cooking oil
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast or about 3 frozen strips, thawed, diced
  • 1/2 small white onion, diced
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder (you could use a clove or two of fresh garlic instead)
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 small can green chiles, drained (these didn’t really contribute to the flavor so you could skip them)
  • 16 oz (2 cups) chicken broth – I used Pacific low sodium broth but homemade would be great too
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup pre made pico de gallo or enough diced tomato, jalepeno, and cilantro to make the equivalent amount
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • A couple hands full of gluten free white corn tortilla chips

Method

cooking chicken breast for gluten free tortilla soup

Melt butter (or heat cooking oil) in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat then add the diced chicken. Sear the chicken on one side, then stir to continue searing the remaining sides.

spices for tortilla soup
cooking chicken for tortilla soup

Add the diced onion, oregano, cumin, garlic powder (or fresh garlic), chile powder and paprika to the pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant and the onions start to soften.

Add the green chiles and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer for about ten minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

cooking gluten free tortilla soup

Add the pico de gallo or the equivalent diced ingredients, and stir through. Simmer for an additional minute or two.

Season to taste. If your tortilla chips are really salty you might want to go a little lighter on the salt in the actual soup.

If you want a thicker soup, add a few tortilla chips to the pot and continue simmering for about five minutes. As the chips soften in the soup, they’ll blend into the broth and make it a lot thicker. You really do need just a few chips to make a really thick hearty tortilla soup.

If you like a soupier soup, you can skip that step.

soup

To serve, put a handful of tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, and ladle the hot soup over top.

What’s your favorite non authentic recipe?

Is this really real authentic tortilla soup? I’m gonna go with probably not. But it tastes like the tortilla soup I wanted and in the end, I think that’s all that matters.

I know I can’t be alone here. What’s your favorite non authentic recipe? Was it something your mom made, something from a restaurant, or something you made like my authentically inauthentic gluten free tortilla soup?

Recipe Card

Gluten Free Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 2
Print
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Ingredients
  1. 1Tbs butter or cooking oil
  2. 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
  3. 1/2 small white onion, diced
  4. 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  5. 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  6. 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  7. 1/4 tsp chile powder
  8. 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  9. 1 small can green chiles, drained
  10. 16 oz (2 cups) chicken broth
  11. 1/4 - 1/2 cup pre made pico de gallo
  12. salt and pepper to taste
  13. A couple hands full of gluten free white corn tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Heat a heavy bottom pan over medium heat, and add butter or oil. When melted/hot, add chicken. Sear chicken on all sides.
  2. Add the onion, oregano, cumin, garlic, chile powder, and paprika. Stir to combine and continue cooking until the spices are fragrant and the onions start to soften, about five minutes.
  3. Add the green chiles and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer for about ten minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Add the pico de gallo or the equivalent diced ingredients, and stir through. Simmer for an additional minute or two.
  5. Season to taste, using more or less salt depending on the saltiness of you tortilla chips.
  6. For a thicker soup, add a few tortilla chips to the pot and continue simmering for about five minutes.
  7. To serve, put a handful of tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, and ladle the hot soup over top.
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katlandreth

I design user interfaces for websites and web apps. I code, I style myself and my home, I DIY, and I read comic books. I cook tasty gluten free food, and I travel to amazing places.

Fun fact: I'm also a little addicted to lifestyle vloggers on YouTube.

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