I feel like there’s been just about every possible version of tortilla soup floating around out there, and I’ve had my go-to version for awhile (thanks Ina!) But last night, I felt like doing something different. Instead of the fire roasted tomato-based soup I’ve come to rely on, I was dreaming of something a little more exotic, with a chile-scented broth made a bit more complex with toasted spices, adobo sauce and black beans. Sweet potatoes and corn took the place of my usual carrots and onions, and of course the garnishes really took it over the top: bowls piled high with fresh chunks of avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, lime wedges, cheddar and cilantro. It was such a comforting meal to kickoff an early-fall week, and the spicy kick even cleared my sinuses of these allergies that have been hanging around lately. I think I’ve definitely found my go-to soup of the season… Hope you try it, and I’d love to hear about what soups you guys are cooking up this fall! (and thanks to Wynn for snapping these lovely photos yesterday!)

Sweet Potato-Chipotle Tortilla Soup

*makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
  • 1 quart high-quality low sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Instructions:

  1. In a small, dry skillet (not nonstick), toast allspice, cumin and peppercorns over medium heat, shaking occasionally, until fragrant (mine took about 3 minutes.)
  2. Add the toasted spices to a blender with onion, garlic, chipotles, adobo, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 cup chicken broth. Blend on high power until completely smooth.
  3. In a large pot, combine the purée, the rest of the broth and the diced sweet potato. Bring to a simmer, then cover and let simmer for 45 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the tortillas into strips, then spread out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with the tiniest bit of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt (I used garlic salt.) Bake for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
  5. Add chicken, black beans and corn to the pot, and let simmer for a couple minutes just to heat through. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
  6. Divide soup among bowls, and top with sliced avocado, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, a sprinkle of shredded cheddar and tortilla strips.

*spice blend inspired by this recipe.

27 comments
  1. 1
    The Enchanted Home | September 17, 2013 at 7:45 am

    That looks so good and with only 50 degrees over here, it would be the perfect dish for dinner tonight!!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | September 17, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Oh wow! Jealous of your fall temps… it’s still in the high 90’s in Austin!

      Reply
  2. 2
    FripperyVintage | September 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

    This looks yummy! Can’t wait for fall to hit Houston so we can make a big bowl of soup.

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | September 17, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Agreed – I couldn’t help myself from jumping the gun a bit! 😉

      Reply
  3. 3
    grace @ earthy feast | September 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Everything about this soup sounds amazing. It looks so beautiful too! Pinning it!

    Reply
  4. 4
    Supal {chevrons and éclairs} | September 17, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I love all tortilla soups and this looks so comforting!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | September 17, 2013 at 9:52 am

      It really is the ultimate comfort food… the chiles give it a major kick and the sweet potatoes add tons of sweetness. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

      Reply
  5. 5
    Quyen Nguyen (@LiveItinerantly) | September 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I love a good tortilla soup, but I’ve never had it with sweet potatoes before! I’ll definitely have to try it. I think it will be good to try it with lots of spice as the sweetness will smooth out the spiciness. Thanks for sharing, Camille!
    http://liveitinerantly.com

    Reply
  6. 6
    Maggie | September 17, 2013 at 11:10 am

    What an inventive twist on the usual tortilla soup. Though I make it often and love the flavors, I have to admit my usual recipe needs a little kick! Thanks for your zesty version.

    Reply
  7. 7
    Sarah Crowder (@CulinaryRabbit) | September 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Yesss it’s all about the fixin’s, although the sweet potato sounds wonderful.

    Reply
  8. 8
    Anneli | September 18, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Tonight’s the night for this soup! It’s cool and cloudy here in Vancouver… just the type of weather for a good bowl of soup. I have a recipe for a tortilla soup, but, this one is a bit different and looks very tasty.

    Reply
  9. 9
    Anneli | September 19, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I made this soup for dinner tonight and everyone loved it! I doubled and maybe even tripled the recipe added extra chipotle chile (by accident), it was very spicy, but, very delicious! Definitely will be making this over and over again.

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | September 19, 2013 at 7:24 am

      Yay!! So thrilled that you gave it a try… yes, the soup is pretty spicy on its own so I bet yours had some major kick!! 😉

      Reply
  10. 10
    Kristel Poole | September 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    That looks delicious! Where did you get those bowls???

    Reply
  11. 11
    Stephanie | December 2, 2013 at 2:51 am

    This soup is delicous! I made it tonight for my boyfriend and I. It was pretty spicy which he loved and I definitely got used to it because the flavor is so good! He asked me to prin out this recipe and never forget it!

    Reply
  12. 12
    Courtney | December 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I made this today, it was excellent! This turned out to have texture of a stew instead of soup but was still great! I followed the recipe exactly and made four heaping servings as a main course.

    Reply
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