Corn tortillas are the star of this soup! They are used to both thicken the broth and get turned into tortilla strips for a crunchy topper. It’s a spiced tomato-based broth fully loaded with veggies, shredded chicken, and beans. Top it with some cooling yogurt or sour cream, crunchy homemade tortilla strips and fresh herbs for a balanced bite. Go crazy and add some shredded cheese on top!

Ingredient highlight

Black beans! and legumes are a great way to get protein along with a heavy dose of fiber, complex carbs, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and potassium to name a few. They are famous for making you fart (hehe) because of the specific sugars (oligosaccharides) they contain that we have trouble breaking down. Cooking your beans from scratch reduces the fart-causing substances!

Servings 4 People
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 6 corn tortillas, divided
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 ¼ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped optional, or use ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 5 oz container spinach (optional)
  • Plain whole milk yogurt, for topping
  • Cilantro, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut 3 tortillas into thin strips (about 2” long, ½” wide) and place on the baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon salt until evenly coated. Spread out into one layer and bake for 10 minutes, tossing halfway, or until they turn deeply golden. Remove and let cool. They will crisp up more as they cool.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, onion, carrot and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers, jalapeno (if using), garlic, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook for about 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Add the water, tomatoes, beans, chicken, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring halfway, or until the chicken is cooked (160F). Remove chicken and place on your cutting board. Stir the spinach into the pot (if using), and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.
  • Tear up the remaining 3 tortillas and place in a blender. Transfer 2-3 cups of the soup to the blender, making sure the tortillas are submerged. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften, then blend until smooth. While the tortillas soften, shred your chicken using two forks (or chop it up). Stir the chicken and blended tortilla mixture back into the pot until smooth.
  • Taste and add more salt, if needed. Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt, cilantro, and tortilla strips.

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Make tortilla strips
  • Prep/chop the veggies (onion, carrot, bell pepper, jalapenos, garlic)
  • Soup can be made ahead


  • To make vegetarian: add another can of black beans (or pinto beans).
  • To make vegan/dairy-free: use a dairy-free plain yogurt or substitute avocado with a squeeze of lime.
  • Use sour cream instead of yogurt.


  • Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Store leftover tortilla strips in an airtight container or releasable bag for up to 2 weeks. 

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Reheat the soup until warm. Top with yogurt, cilantro, a good squeeze of lime, and tortilla strips.
  • Top with grated cheddar cheese to take it up a notch!

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