Aggie's Kitchen

Home Sweet Home…and Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup

Aaah…home sweet home. We are back from our family vacation to the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN. It was absolutely beautiful up there. The scenery was stunning and the air felt good. Good, but COLD! Our thin blood survived the freezing temperatures and we had a great time exploring an area of the country we have never been before.

(My sister, brother and I at the top of the Smoky Mountain National Park…)

We took the trip with my immediate family – my sister, her husband and her little one, my brother, and my mom. My dad wasn’t able to make it because he had to stay back and run the family restaurant.

(Goofballs in action…)


(A couple of Floridians really excited about snow…)


(My son Sammy’s first time in the snow…)


(All bundled up ready to go…)

We got back to Florida the night before Thanksgiving. We celebrated a nice Thanksgiving at my parent’s house with a ton of good food and wine…we were stuffed, it was fun, but we were really ready to get back home to Orlando.

So here we are home again…refreshed and ready to get back into a routine. I know most of you spend the day after Thanksgiving shopping with the crowds, but my day after Thanksgiving tradition is hitting the gym. After being on vacation for a week, I really really needed a good workout….and some good healthy food. I knew before I left that I would be making Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup when we got back…the recipe sounded wonderful with all the chicken and veggies…and it was just what we needed Friday night.

Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup

This month’s Barefoot Blogger recipe was chosen by Judy from Judy’s Gross Eats. I can’t thank her enough for choosing such a delicious Barefoot Contessa soup for all of us to try!

Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup

Print Recipe

Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup


  • 4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (I used shredded chicken from a Rotisserie I picked up at the grocery store)
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade (Swanson's low sodium chicken broth works for me!)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed (I crushed them with my hands, but I'm thinking that diced tomatoes would work here too)
  • 2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (my grocery store was out of jalapenos so I substituted a milder Anaheim pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
  • 6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas (I substituted whole wheat tortillas, and only used 2)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips


Tip: Make your own healthier tortilla "chips" by slicing a whole wheat tortilla into strips, spray them with non stick spray, then crisping them up in a hot non stick skillet.


Recipe from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home

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Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup


Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!




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22 Responses to “Home Sweet Home…and Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup”

  1. Esi posted November 29, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Gatlinburg is where Pi Phi was started! (I was a Pi Phi). It looks cold there! Good thing you had this soup to warm you up.

  2. Erica posted November 29, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Love the pics from the trip! Glad you had a fun time and a nice Thanksgiving! This soup recipe looks like a good one for a cold or rainy day!

  3. Leslie posted November 29, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Glad you had a great time! I hope there is snow there when I go Christmas Night!
    LOVE the chicken soup!
    GOOOOOO Gators!

  4. Mary Ann posted November 29, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    I just made the soup today and I really liked it. It was a nice healthy option, after all the goodies this week. Looks like you had a wonderful trip. It sure is pretty up there, but I understand about missing the warm weather. Welcome back and since GA has lost all hope of doing anything- I am jumping on your bandwagon- go Gators!

  5. melissa posted November 29, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Been seeing the soup around the blogs. One to bookmark for sure!

    Glad you had a good time. I know it must have been cold, but I’m still kind of envious of your time spent in beauty. It’s always good to get away. Love the goofball photo. 🙂

  6. Maris posted November 30, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Sounds really great and HEALTHY! Which is exactly what I need after a weekend of Thanksgiving leftovers (pie for breakfast, anyone?)

  7. sarahlucky3 posted November 30, 2008 at 1:30 am

    I can’t wait to hear all about your trip it looked amazing! I am with you it is time to kick into gear and start my new years resolution off early! LOL! The soup looks awesome!

  8. Pamela posted November 30, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Welcome back! Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving together. The soup looks yummy.

  9. Jenny posted November 30, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    What fun pictures Aggie! You and your bro and sis look like you are having a blast in the cold! Welcome back, glad you guys had a good time. Ina’s soup looks fantastic!

  10. Theresa posted November 30, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Welcome back. Looks like fun was had by all. The soup looks like it did the trick and warmed you up 🙂

  11. constantmj posted November 30, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Welcome back Aggie! Looks like you had a great time on your trip. Can’t wait to hear about it and your Thanksgiving. Your soup looks so good and so good for you.

  12. Pilar - Lechuza posted November 30, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    This is the best soup for cold winter days. And we are having a lot of cold and rainny days here in Spain.

  13. priscilla posted November 30, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    looks like fun aggie! your little guys is so cute. we had our first real snowfall today.

  14. Cathy posted December 1, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Sounds like a great vacation! I bet your kids enjoyed seeing some snow! This soup really IS perfect for the day after Thanksgiving — so light and healthy! I live in ‘Bama but am NOT a Tide fan — so I’ll jump on the Gators bandwagon as well!

  15. Katherine Aucoin posted December 1, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Looks like you have a good time in the mountains. It’s wonderful you and your family could get together for a trip. Ina’s Mexican Soup looks like the ticket for something healthy after all of the feasting.

  16. Colleen posted December 1, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Welcome back! I love any sort of Mexican/chicken/tortilla soup – this looks great!

  17. Maria posted December 1, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Looks like a fun family trip! I hope this soup warmed you up! Looks great!

  18. Pam posted December 1, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    She’s back! Glad you had a fun time in the mountains. I love this soup – Ina is the best.

  19. Anne posted December 1, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Looks like a wonderful trip- I’m glad you made it home safely! The soup sounds like it hit the spot, too. Yum!

  20. Chef E posted December 2, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Anything that is in the ‘mexican’ category is a winner with me…the bowl pic looks good!

  21. Soma posted December 10, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Gatlinburg is one of our fav. palces. its just sooo beautiful with those blue mountains! We had taken that trolley up on the mountains and what a stunning view it was. i love their quaint little downtown. beautiful pictures. & nice soup too.

  22. Freddie Cook posted June 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I really love to eat lots of different kinds of soup specially vegetable based soups.:;*

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