Quick Paleo Chicken & Kale Tortilla Soup

Author: Irena Macri   Date Posted:14 September 2016 


There are many versions of a tortilla soup and this is my own take on it. I wanted to create a recipe that's really quick and easy to make, perfect for a mid week dinner or lunch, and this one should only take you 20 minutes. Feel free to use fresh, raw chicken instead of pre-cooked chicken meat. Simply pan fry it for 6-8 minutes before dicing and adding to the soup. And beware, this soup is a little spicy but you can modify the heat by adding less jalapeños.


  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • ½ large red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup pickled Jalapeños, finely diced (the ones you get in a jar in a Mexican section of the store)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Knob of butter or ghee
  • 1½ cups cooked, diced chicken (breast or thigh meat is good, I picked up some roasted chicken from the supermarket)
  • 2 cups torn kale leaves
  • 400 grams diced tinned tomatoes
  • 2½ cups good quality chicken stock
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime (grate the zest first)
  • ⅔ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon diced spring onion
  • 3 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves (a good handful)
  • 1 avocado, sliced into strips (half per person)
  • A little dusting of paprika if you're feeling fancy


  • Heat a medium saucepan with coconut oil and add the diced onion. Cook for a minute or two and add the red peppers. Stir and cook for another minute while chopping other ingredients.
  • Add jalapeños, garlic, oregano, coriander seed and cumin powder and a knob of butter. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds to release the aromas.
  • Now add chicken, kale, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, lime zest and juice and stir. Taste for salt. I added about ⅔ of a teaspoon of sea salt but you may need less depending on how much salt is in your chicken stock.
  • Bring everything to boil and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Turn off and let it sit for 2-3 minutes while you prepare the garnishes.
  • Place pumpkin seeds in a small frying pan and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep your eyes on them so they don't get burnt. We simply want to toast them for extra crunch and nuttiness.
  • Serve soup in bowls, topped with fresh coriander, green onions, toasted pumpkin seeds and sliced avocado. And if you really feel like it, a couple of good quality corn chips won't do much harm ;)




Eat Drink Paleo is a little (well, not so little anymore) passion project I started in 2012. My name is Irena and I am a bunch of different things: recipe developer, cookbook author, amateur food photographer, and a self-proclaimed web geek. When I’m not travelling the world or hiking through the bush in search of a climbing crag or a waterfall of some sort, I am in my small kitchen in London or Sydney, or in a local cafe typing away a new post. 

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