Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat evenly.
Bake for until crisp and lightly golden brown, about 15 -18 minutes; set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or saucepan.
Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes with juice, beans, corn, chicken, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the cilantro and remove the pan from the heat.
Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, etc.).
Ladle soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips. Garnish with avocado, cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, and chipotle peppers or peppers in adobo if using. Add a squeeze of lime juice or serve lime wedges on the side. Serve immediately.
If the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your soup to have more broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end.
What's tortilla soup without tortilla strips? Don't skimp on this ingredient! Be sure to also include shredded cheese, avocado, and a dollop of sour cream. The soup will taste just that much better!
If you dislike cilantro, sprinkle your soup with parsley. Fresh herbs are great for added flavor and also make any dish pop.
For more heat, top your soup with sliced jalapenos or chipotle peppers.
A squeeze of lime is the perfect finishing touch!
Serve the toppings separate for a restaurant-style "build your own bowl" for more fun and especially if you have picky eaters.
Store the soup in the fridge for up to 7 days, and freeze for up to 6 months. Don't you just love meals you can freeze?
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on products used.