Cheesy roasted poblano tortilla soup

finished soup

Have you ever made tortilla soup and found that the flavor was one-demensional? Like you have to add a ton of chili powder because it’s bland and then it gets too spicy?

Here is my recipe for a smokey, richly flavored chicken tortilla soup. The key to a robust flavor is broiling the tomatoes, garlic and poblano peppers beforehand. No cans of tomatoes, canned enchilada sauce or chemically enhanced “taco seasoning” needed.

Serves 4

3 poblano peppers
4 roma tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
3 small onions
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 cup pinto or black beans (I cook beans in bulk and freeze them for times like this)
1 large chicken breast
2 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
salt pepper and olive oil

For garnish:
1 avocado
sour cream
corn tortillas

1. Turn the oven on broil. Place poblano peppers in a glass pan and place in broiler, about six inches from heat source. In about five minutes, or when top sides of peppers are blackened and blistery, flip sides using an oven mit. Broil for another five or so minutes until blackened and blistery on both sides. Place peppers in a plastic bag to “sweat it out” and put in refrigerator for 10-20 minutes.


2. Chop tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Using same glass pan (the less dishes, the better, right?) put the chopped tomatoes and whole peeled garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil for eight or so minutes (check regularly though because ever broiler is different) until garlic is mushy and aromatic and tomatoes are browned on edges and soft. Mash the garlic with a fork.

3. Meanwhile, chop the onions and place in a large pot on the stove on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir occasionally.

4. Remove poblanos from the fridge and peel papery skins off. Remove seeds and rinse in cold water. Chop into small pieces.


5. Add tomatoes, mashed garlic, and poblanos to the pot. Add cumin and chili powder and stir. Taste. This base should be very flavorful because you are about to add broth, which will dumb it down. Add more seasonings to taste.

tomatos peppers in pan

6. Add the broth, wine, corn and beans and simmer for five minutes. Drop in the chicken breast. Sounds weird, but poaching the chicken directly in the broth is so easy and it makes for flavorful meat.

7. Let chicken cook in broth for about 15 minutes until almost  fully cooked but slightly pink in middle. Remove from soup and shred meat with two forks.


8. Return chicken to soup. Add cheese to pot gradually, stirring as you go. Let simmer for another seven minutes or so.

pouring cheese

9. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, avocado slices and warm corn tortillas on the side.

finished soup 2



  1. Mumdanity on October 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Hi Carly. I really enjoying dropping in and reading your blog, and I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award over at my little blog After this visit, I’m going to have to make your tortilla soup, it looks divine!

    • creatingmom on October 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Thank you for reading and for the Sunshine Award! How did you find me?

  2. Raising Reagan | Feature Friday Week 40 on November 1, 2013 at 3:05 am

    […] My third feature comes from Carly from Creating Mom. […]

  3. Lanaya | Raising Reagan on November 1, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Congratulations Carly … I featured this post today at Feature Fridays!

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