Chicken and Ham Tortilla Soup


As both noodles and a garnish, corn-tortilla strips do double duty in this flavorful chicken, ham, and vegetable soup.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 6 corn tortillas, (6 inches in diameter) cut into ⅓-inch-wide strips

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin half-moons

  • 2 stalks celery, sliced into thin half-moons

  • 1 chicken breast half, (5 to 6 ounces) cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 2 slices (about 2 ounces) baked ham, cut into ¼-inch dice, or 2 ounces ham steak, thinly sliced and cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 cans (14 ½ ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half the tortilla strips; cook, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer strips with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with salt. Set aside.

  2. Add vegetables to pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes (do not brown).

  3. Stir in chicken; cook until opaque, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add ham, bay leaf, broth, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Divide remaining tortilla strips among bowls, and ladle soup on top. Garnish with fried tortilla strips, and serve immediately.

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