Jessica’s homemade chicken tortilla soup

California Cooking

Jessica loves a good soup in the winter time, especially since it’s the perfect way to eat all your veggies.

Her chicken tortilla soup with homemade chicken stock has plenty of veggies and a delicious smoky flavor.

Plus, she teaches us the trick for a creamy consistency without actually using any milk products!

This segment aired on California Cooking with Jessica Holmes Episode 91.

Chicken Tortilla Soup


  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 to 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 3/4 cup of cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 cups of chicken stock (see below for Jessica’s homemade chicken stock recipe)
  • 1 cup of shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn
  • can of drained and rinsed beans
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Lime


  1. Add veggies to a Dutch oven pot, season with cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt and cook until the veggies are soft.
  2. When the veggies are almost cooked, grate in the garlic.
  3. When the veggies are soft, remove 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and save it for later.
  4. Add fire-roasted tomatoes and chicken stock, and stir for a few minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend everything together.
  6. Put the mixture back on the stove and check it for seasoning.
  7. Add the cup of veggies back in, along with the shredded chicken, corn and beans.
  8. Serve a bowl of tortilla soup with cheddar cheese, avocado, cilantro, chips and a squeeze of lime.
  9. Enjoy!

Jessica’s Homemade Chicken Stock


  • Whole chicken carcass
  • Enough water to cover
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of peppercorn
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • 5 to 6 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt
  • 1 onion cut into quarters
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic


  1. Add all ingredients to a Dutch oven pot.
  2. Simmer for four hours
  3. Strain

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