Salsa & Soup: Recipe Fiesta

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

By Kelsey Hudson

Kelsey shares a recipe for salsa that goes into her favorite tortilla soup!While I’m always up for baking some complicated recipe, when it comes to cooking, I keep it as simple as possible. I like it best when recipes come together quickly (and without too much mess), and can be used in a few different ways. For that reason, I’m happy to share my recipe for a Simple Blender Salsa which just so happens to be the star ingredient of my family’s Favorite Tortilla Soup recipe. Even better, both recipes require just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes prep time.

My cooking philosophy is to let the tools in my kitchen help me as much as possible. I’m just generous like that, generous and a bit lazy! Blenders are one of my favorite kitchen tools; they’re incredibly versatile and usually dishwasher safe. Plus, they’re not just for smoothies anymore, so instead of spending an hour meticulously dicing every tomato, onion, and pepper, just toss the ingredients into the blender and let it do its thing.

The best part of this recipe is not just its simplicity though. No, the best part is that it keeps those horrible onion tears to a minimum. I’ve tried so many different folk remedies: glasses, goggles, freezing the onion, even cutting them under water, but my eyes still water like Niagara Falls. Incidentally, I also discovered that cutting an onion underwater is a tad dangerous and will most definitely put your fingers at risk. So with just a few quick chops on my part, it’s the blender for the save!

Simple Blender SalsaLet your blender do the work with this great salsa recipe! 


  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz).  Tomatoes are in season so you could also swap one can of diced tomatoes for 2 fresh tomatoes, quartered if you prefer.
  • 1 jalapeno chile—seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Pour one can of tomatoes into the blender. Add jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and salt.
  2. Top with remaining tomatoes (either fresh or canned). Blend until smooth.
  3. I like my salsa pretty smooth. If you prefer your salsa a little chunkier though, blend the ingredients in Step 1 until smooth, then add remaining tomatoes and pulse until the salsa is the desired consistency.

This salsa is great with chips or on a taco, but I love to feature it in my Favorite Tortilla Soup. I found this recipe in a cooking magazine, years ago, and immediately loved it. I’ve made it dozens of times over the years, so the recipe has been tweaked time and time again, but the key ingredients are the same: salsa, stock, and chicken. Everything else adds to the rich flavors, but is ultimately optional.

Feel free to adapt this recipe to suit your own tastes, add more chicken, use less cumin, toss in some fresh peppers or onions, whatever works for you. I like to make it as is with the beans and corn, but it’s incredibly versatile. You can also easily scale it up or down to feed one or two, or a whole crowd of people. I’ve even made it before with less salsa and chicken stock (about 1/2 cup each) and served it over rice as a hearty burrito bowl.

Kelsey shares a recipe for salsa that goes into her favorite tortilla soup!

Favorite Tortilla Soup (Serves 4)


  • 1 1/2 cups Simple Blender Salsa
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cooked chicken – shredded or chopped. I usually use leftover rotisserie chicken or quickly poach a boneless, skinless chicken breast to use. Leftover grilled chicken and even ground turkey also work well in this recipe, though.
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained (you can also use 1 cup dried beans, soaked overnight)
  • Toppings: tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, fresh lime


  1. Heat the salsa and chicken stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the corn and beans and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in the chicken and cumin. Cook until chicken is warmed through.
  4. Serve with whatever toppings you enjoy—I recommend the works!


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