roasted ancho chicken tortilla soup

Roasted Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup has long been a staple of our kitchen. It’s easy, it’s delicious and I often have many of the ingredients on hand. This roasted ancho chicken tortilla soup takes regular tortilla soup to the next level.

So how do you make this magical roasted ancho chicken tortilla soup? You guessed it….you’ve got to roast the ancho peppers. But don’t worry, you won’t need a bonfire to do this. Just a stove top and a pan.

ancho chicken tortilla soup

The more I learn about Mexican cuisine, the more I realize how important roasted peppers are. A good roasted pepper can take your soup or enchilada from average Tex Mex to the best spicy soup you ever tasted. And all you have to do is apply heat.


Ancho peppers work best in this dish. They are almost black. They are the mature version of ripe poblano peppers and should be treated as royalty. Take a look at these beauties I found in the Mexican food section of Walmart.

roasted ancho peppers

Notice the seeds poking out of the peppers. Fear not, these dark peppers will not burn your mouth nor will they cause intimate damage if you don’t wash your hands before going to the bathroom. They are about medium heat. I removed all the seeds from the peppers before roasting and blending them so I could control exactly how much heat I put into the soup. I would recommend this unless you are just real hardcore.

ancho peppers

You could also experiment with chipotle peppers or pasilla peppers. BE CAREFUL! Know how hot they are before dumping them into your soup base. You don’t want a night of crying.

Also, know your audience. I enjoy lots of heat, but Ginny has a milder palate. I accidentally put a bit too much cayenne in this soup and she almost had a heart attack. I thought it was great. She didn’t.


This soup has a short recipe list. To make the base, you first dry roast the ancho peppers in a skillet. You blend these together with a can of fire roasted tomatoes and some sautéed onions and garlic. Then you will add in a generous amount of chicken broth along with cumin and oregano. Salt is the final spice. This base will simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then you add in some cubed chicken breast, black beans and corn. It only takes a few minutes for the chicken to cook and you’re done. Just add cilantro and thin sliced onions for garnish and dig in.


I would recommend some of your favorite chips and salsa with this soup. It’s also great to slice up a few corn tortillas into thin slices and shallow fry them in a bit of olive oil. A dab of sour cream and cheese on the soup never hurt either.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes SERVINGS: 6-8


  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 2-3 ancho peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut in small chunks
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro


  1. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the first onions and cook for about 10 minutes until light brown. Add in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, roast the ancho peppers in a separate pan over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side or until they start to darken and bubble. Remove from heat. Remove stems and seeds and place peppers into a blender.
  3. Add onion and garlic mixture to blender with pepper and throw in the can of fire roasted tomatoes. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add this mixture along with the chicken broth to a large pot and simmer over medium heat. Add cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken and beans and simmer for another 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  5. Garnish with onion slices and cilantro.

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