Gluten-Free Chicken Tortilla Soup


It’s feeling like fall here in the woods, so how about some Chicken Tortilla Soup, with just a little capsaicin heat and lots of delicious flavors! I’m blaming Covid for not having all the fun toppings for this, but it was still delicious. You can add cilantro, avocado slices, sour cream or cotija cheese if you like. You can cut thin strips of tortilla and fry them for the top, but often we just crumble store bought gf tortilla chips. When I serve this for guests, I always have a bit of chopped jalapeno out also, for those who like it spicier. I didn’t have my can of stewed tomatoes I normally use, but had some grape tomatoes and chopped those and it came out great. And the tomatillos used were from our deck garden that survived the fire! Thank you to the fire fighters, first responders, or neighbor who watered our plants while we were evacuated due to the fire (and to the fire crews for saving our home and neighborhood!)

Chicken Tortilla Soup 


4-5 boneless chicken thighs or 4 boneless breast halves

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3/4 large onion, or 1 medium, chopped

5 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed

2 celery stalks, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 – 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes (or substitute 2 cups of grape tomatoes, cut in quarters plus 1/2 cup water)

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 1/2 -2 Anaheim chili peppers

6 or 7 tomatillos

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon of ancho chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon oregano

4 cups chicken broth, gluten free

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 can (25 oz) Juanita’s Original Mexican Style Hominy, gluten free

1/2 can (15.5 oz) great northern or cannellini beans with 1/2 the liquid

garnish ideas:

bought gf tortilla chips or strips of corn tortillas (cut gf corn tortillas, cut in strips and fried)

avocado slices

grated cheddar cheese or crumbled cotija cheese

cilantro, chopped

diced jalapeno

sour cream

to prepare:

step 1 – 

Set oven to broil. Lay the whole, washed Anaheim chilis and the whole (peel off the outer skin) tomatillos on a tray (or tray lined with foil). Broil until charred on one side, turn over and broil until peppers and tomatillos roasted on the other side. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the top of the peppers and seeds, then peel the skin off. Remove the skins from the tomatillos. If some remain, it is okay. Dice the peppers and save 1/2 of one to add in if you would like more spice. Save the seeds as you can add for some hotness also. Cut the tomatillos slightly (they are soft already and will cook down easily).

Step 2 –

In  a large dutch oven or stockpot, over medium high heat, saute the onion with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for a minute. Add the celery and carrot and salt and continue until slightly soft. Add the crushed or minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Remove this soffrito to a bowl.

step 2 – 

Heat over high heat, in the stockpot or dutch oven, 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the chicken when the oil is hot. Salt and pepper lightly. Brown the chicken pieces on all sides.

step 3 – 

Add to the stockpot with the chicken, the can of diced, stewed tomatoes (or cut fresh tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water), chili powders, cumin, coriander and oregano. Add chicken broth and 1 1/2 cups of water, tomato paste, soffrito, diced roasted Anaheim peppers and tomatillos. Simmer the soup on a low burner for about 1 1/2  hours. Add the hominy and beans and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. 

step 4 – 

Give a taste to see if you need more spice. If so, add in a the extra 1/2 of Anaheim pepper and some of the reserved seeds. Remove to bowls and serve with all the toppings for each person to garnish. I like to serve this with warm tortillas and butter or corn bread and butter. There’s nothing like it on a cool fall or winter night!

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