Smokey Chile Tortilla Soup

Updated 1 month ago by Jamie Armstrong


Smoky Chile Tortilla Soup

I'll argue until the day I die that nothing is better on a brisk day than a hot bowl of tortilla soup. Everything that people say about chicken soup (namely that it's good for the soul), is even more true of tortilla soup––and especially ours, because it has chicken!

What I love about tortilla soup is that it is hearty, textured, and complex, while still retaining a thin consistency. It's has all the flavor of a stew, but it's a joy to eat bowl after bowl.

To this end, the core elements of our soup: charred tomatoes, garlic, onion, and three types of chiles (guajillo, ancho, and chipotle), bring the right blend of spice, acidity, and smoke.

And these ingredients bring out the powerful, yet refined flavor of our base, EPIC's awesome savory chicken bone broth. When we have the time, we love making our own stocks and broths, but EPIC's variety uses a home-style, slow and low simmering method to extract all the good stuff (and additional flavor) from the bones. It's the only store-bought brand we've found that has the flavor of a good broth made with love in a home kitchen. 

The achiote-spice chicken is also used in our chilaquiles recipe, so you could double the recipe here and prepare a batch in advance. I've always loved being able to make a protein and use it in a variety of dishes throughout the day. The achiote chicken is also a great filler for tacos, tortas, and enchiladas, as it's a versatile and flavorful filling that can stand-up alone, but is subdued enough to harmonize with other dishes.

As I mentioned earlier, we put the finishing touches on our recipe by using our grain free cassava and chia tortillas for the tortilla strips and garnishing the soup with diced avocado and thinly sliced radish. The end results is a comforting, yet refined soup for all occasions! 


Smoky Chile Tortilla Soup

1hr (45 minute prep, 15 minutes active)
Serves 4

The Chiles

  • 4 Guajillo Chiles 
  • 3 Ancho Chiles 
  • 1 Chipotle Chile 
  • 4 Cups Water


  1. Toast the dried chiles for 15-20 seconds in a medium-high heat skillet or until slightly puffed up. Work in batches if necessary. 
  2. Soak the chiles in a bowl with 4 cups of boiled water for 10-15 minutes, then remove and dry on a paper towel.

Achiote-Spice Chicken

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 tbsp Achiote Paste 
  • 1/2 tbsp Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Combine seasoning, mix together until a paste is formed, and rub on chicken breasts. The chicken breasts should look roughly like they do in the above picture. Marinade chicken in the achiote seasoning for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Cover baking sheet in parchment and bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Let rest until cool enough to touch, then pull apart (two forks works well). 

The Soup

  • 4 Large Tomatoes 
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil 
  • 1 Onion, Finely Chopped 
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced 
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro, Finely Chopped 
  • 1 Bunch of Thyme, Finely Chopped 
  • 4 Cups Poultry-Based Bone Broth (we prefer EPIC)


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the tomatoes for 10 minutes, or until charred.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of avocado oil over medium-low heat and add the onion and heat until the onion begins to sweat. Add the garlic and salt and pepper, then continue to cook until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the tomatoes and herbs. Once the tomatoes have begun to lose their structure, add the chiles and the bone broth.
  4. Bring to a boil, then allow to reach a quiet simmer. Allow the soup to simmer at least 10 minutes, then blend (preferably with a stick or emulsion blender).

The Topping

  • 4 Siete Foods Cassava & Chia Tortillas, Cut in Half, Then Into Matchstick Strips
  • Achiote Pulled Chicken
  • 1 Avocado, Diced 
  • 1 Fresno or Serrano Chile, Seeded, Stemmed, and Deveined (optional) 
  • Handful of Cilantro (optional) 
  • 1 Thinly Sliced Radish, Cleaned (optional) 
  • 200ml Crema (optional)


  1.  Preheat the oven to 375º. Add the tortilla strips to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until strips are crispy.
  2. Add the chicken and the crispy tortilla strips to the soup. Garnish with chiles, cilantro, crema, and/or avocado.

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