The Gourmet Dirtbag: Road Warrior's Tortilla Soup

Categories: Community

This yummy favorite is great when you have a hodge-podge of ingredients kicking around and you’re down to the beat-up dregs of your bag of tortilla chips. According to Conservation Team veterans Mike and Amanda, the beauty of this dish is that your imagination is your only limitation. They frequently changed out the ingredients depending on what was kicking around in their food bin and cooler. Preparation is super fast, especially if you buy pre-cooked chicken.

Road Warrior's Tortilla Soup
Serves 2-3

Suggested Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1lb cooked chicken, cut in bite sized pieces
  • 1 can of corn or hominy
  • 1 can of green chilies
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of whatever veggies you have kicking around (onion/shallot, carrot, bell peppers, sweet potato, zucchini, kale, spinach, etc)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Tortilla chip crumbs, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Optional toppings: plain Greek yogurt, grated cheese, hot sauce, salsa, whatever makes you happy.

Road Warrior Tip
Whenever possible, buy shallots instead of onions. Not only are they tasty, but they are small, so you use the whole thing and avoid having half of a left-over onion stinking up your cooler.


Add olive oil to a large pot, then add veggies and sautéed until tender. Add the diced chicken, broth, diced tomatoes, green chilies, corn/hominy, and beans. Depending on your taste, add a generous dash of hot sauce and bring to a simmer. Once the soup is simmering, add any fresh leafy ingredients like chopped fresh cilantro, chopped kale or spinach, and allow to simmer a bit longer to wilt the greens.

Serve into bowls and top with tortilla chip crumbles. This makes a lot of soup, but you’ll be amazed at how much you can eat after a day of climbing or trail work.

Life and Cooking on the Road

Life on the road doesn’t mean you have to eat crap. Our Conservation Team crews spend 10 months of the year living out of a Jeep and a tent, and they’ve become experts on cooking creative meals that fuel long days of trail work, climbing, and travel. In this new series, our 6 traveling nomads will share all of their favorite recipes that use simple, quality ingredients to create something remarkably tasty and satisfying. So plug in, and fuel your next adventure.