There is nothing as good as keeping warm in the cold season with a comforting and hearty bowl of soup.
Add in great nutritious benefits and you might as well be thinking about one that’s too good to be true.
The Panera chicken tortilla soup is a savory treat ideal for the chilly winters and also any other season.
It is a traditional Mexican delicacy that is both yummy and easy to prepare, making it an awesome choice for an ideal family soup meal.
This article shows why it is your next go-to treat and how to prepare yours at home.
Panera chicken tortilla soup recipe
This soup is easy to prepare and all you need to do is follow these steps:
●1 pound Chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
●4 cups Chicken broth
●1 can tomatoes ( with their juice)
●1 Large onion ( chopped)
●1 garlic cloves (minced)
●½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
●3 cups corn Kernels
●1 can black beans (rinsed and strained)
●⅓ cups fresh cilantro (minced)
●1 can green chilies (chopped)
●¼ cup Cayenne pepper
●1 package Tortilla chips ( crushed)
●1 package, Reduced-Fat Mexican cheese blend
●1 teaspoon, ground cumin
●1 teaspoon chili powder
●Salt and pepper to taste
1.In a heavy soup pot, put a little olive oil and brown the chicken over medium-high heat. Remove it from the pot.
2.Add a drizzle of olive oil to the same pot. Put the chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes, then add the ground cumin and minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
3.Add the chicken, broth, chili powder, Mexican Oregano, Cayenne pepper, and tomatoes. After simmering for 15 minutes, add the corn, black beans, and green chilies. Simmer for at least ten more minutes, while stirring occasionally, for the flavors to blend.
4.Just before removing from the heat, season with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and stir.
5.Remove from heat and garnish with tortilla chips, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and the Mexican cheese blend.
Tips for great Panera chicken tortilla soup
●A rotisserie chicken is also great for preparing the Panera chicken tortilla soup. In case you have it on hand, skip step 1 in the recipe above, and add shredded or diced rotisserie chicken with the green chile and black beans.
●Serve the soup and garnish in each bowl as opposed to garnishing in the cooking pot.
●Salt according to the sodium content in the chicken broth. If it is high in sodium, taste your soup first before adding salt to avoid over-salting.
●To prepare your soup in a crock-pot, place all the ingredients, apart from the garnishes (Tortilla, lime wedges, and cilantro), in your slow cooker, and cook for about 5 hours on low or about 2.5-3 hours on high. For a classier taste, saute the veggies aside before adding them to the slow cooker.
●If you want to reduce the amount of fats and calories, use baked or microwave tortilla strips instead of tortilla chips.
Preparing tortilla strips
To prepare tortilla strips on the microwave, chop corn tortilla into thin strips, spray lightly with cooking spray or olive oil, then cook in the air fryer mode for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.
You can also bake them in the oven by following these steps:
●Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
●Cut the tortillas into thin strips, put them in a bowl, and toss with oil until they are evenly coated.
●Arrange tortilla strips on a single layer baking sheet.
●Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, till they are lightly browned and crisp.
●Remove from oven and cool.
Panera chicken tortilla soup Variations
Kid-friendly soup – Skip adding the green chile, instead, and macaroni or another small pasta.
Extra spicy – Add a chipotle in adobo, jalapeno peppers, or hot green chile.
Extra healthy – Add more vegetables to your soup, such as green beans, carrots, kale, spinach, or spinach.
Garnish with avocado slices, sour cream, or any of your favorite cheese (I would recommend cheddar cheese or shredded Monterey cheese).
Vegan – Use a quality vegetarian protein such as extra firm tofu as a substitute for the chicken. Vegetable broth will be ideal rather than chicken broth.
Great accompaniments of Panera chicken tortilla soup
Unlike the other, usually heavy and more filling Mexican soups, the Panera chicken tortilla soup is light and might need some accompaniment.
Here are great sides that complement the soup’s savory flavor:
Roasted corn is ideal when looking for something simple and fast to prepare.
To prepare delicious corn on the cob, wrap it in foil and oven roast for 20 minutes, then season with butter, salt, cilantro, garlic, and pepper.
It is a quick and sumptuous side for your soup.
Rice combined with the soup’s sumptuous flavor, gives you a meal of a kind.
Use long-grain rice and season it with chili powder, cilantro, and cumin.
Once ready, serve and top with your savory Panera chicken tortilla soup for a healthy and yummy dish.
Chips and Guacamole
Instead of topping your soup with tortilla chips, try a plate of french fries and guacamole on the side.
This is especially splendid for a nice lunch.
Serve your soup with burritos on the side.
Whether meat or veggie, any kind is great.
For a meaty burrito, wrap up some bacon, eggs, tomatoes, and hash browns.
If you are in the mood for a veggie burrito, make it with rice, corn, beans, pico de gallo salsa, and guacamole.
Dig in and relish the combo with the soup for a mouth-watering snack/meal.
Bread and soup are a perfect match.
For more heat, try the jalapeno cornbread.
Together with your hearty soup, the meal will be a savory blend of tangy, sweet, and spicy flavors.
The Panera chicken tortilla soup will taste great with tacos and leave you fuller.
Fish, shrimp, other meat, or even veggie tacos are excellent accompaniments.
Top it with a creamy sauce, sour sauce, or guacamole.
Black bean salad
For a full meal, serve the black bean salad with your chicken tortilla soup.
Make the salad with equal portions of corn kernels and black beans and dress with a classic vinaigrette.
This will be ideal for a family dinner.
If you need a lighter and healthier accompaniment for your soup, slaw is perfect; any veggie slaw salad or Mexican slaw will do.
For a Mexican feel, dress with canola oil, honey, lime juice, coriander, cumin, and hot sauce.
Fried polenta that is crunchy on the outside but chewy inside will complement your sumptuous and hearty Panera chicken tortilla soup.
Coat your fried polenta with parmesan cheese after frying to enhance its flavor.
This meal is satisfying and perfect for a family dinner.
Storage tips for Panera chicken tortilla soup
When you make soup and there is extra after everyone has their fill, don’t worry as it can be stored safely for later.
Here are storage tips:
Store your leftover soup in the fridge to last for 3 to 4 days.
First, cool it completely, pour it in an airtight container, then put it in the fridge.
For a fresher taste, add some drops of olive oil before sealing the container to refrigerate.
To reheat, pour in the cooking pot and heat on your stovetop.
The freezer is also ideal for the storage of the chicken tortilla soup, as it still retains the classic taste.
Kept n the freezer, the soup will last up to 6 months.
A Ziploc freezer bag will be your ideal container because it doesn’t take a lot of freezer space.
To freeze, cool the soup to room temperature, then pour in the Ziploc bag.
For convenience, divide the soup into bowl portions so that you will not have to thaw huge portions, but only the servings you want.
Place the Ziploc bag with soup in the freezer and store for up to 6 months.
To reheat, thaw by placing the bag into the fridge or room temperature overnight.
Alternatively, for quicker defrosting, boil water in a cooking pot, remove from heat, then place the Ziploc freezer bag inside the hot water.
Once it melts, pour the soup into a cooking pot, add fresh broth, and heat on the stovetop.
Health benefits of the Panera chicken tortilla soup
This soup is nutritious as it contains essential vitamins, minerals, and calories.
However, it has a bit high content of saturated fats.
Nonetheless, overall, it is nutrition-packed and healthy. It is rich in Vitamin A, B6, C, and K, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.
The soup also has dietary minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Per 1 cup serving of Panera bread chicken tortilla soup
●Total Carbohydrates 18g
●Sugars 1.4 g
●Saturated fat 6.6g
●Cholesterol 29 mg
●Sodium 667 mg
The Panera chicken tortilla soup is too yummy and nutritious to be ignored.
Use the above simple recipe to make a hearty soup that will help you beat the cold and also bring out your cooking prowess.
Panera Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 pound Chicken breast boneless and skinless
- 4 cups Chicken broth
- 1 can tomatoes with their juice
- 1 Large onion chopped
- 1 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 3 cups corn Kernels
- 1 can black beans rinsed and strained
- ⅓ cups fresh cilantro minced
- 1 can green chilies chopped
- ¼ cup Cayenne pepper
- 1 package Tortilla chips crushed
- 1 package Reduced-Fat Mexican cheese blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a heavy soup pot, put a little olive oil and brown the chicken over medium-high heat. Remove it from the pot.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the same pot. Put the chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes, then add the ground cumin and minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chicken, broth, chili powder, Mexican Oregano, Cayenne pepper, and tomatoes. After simmering for 15 minutes, add the corn, black beans, and green chilies. Simmer for at least ten more minutes, while stirring occasionally, for the flavors to blend.
- Just before removing from the heat, season with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and stir.
- Remove from heat and garnish with tortilla chips, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and the Mexican cheese blend.