Chef Kevin Maxey of 
El Felix Deconstructs 
His Chicken Tortilla Soup 20

An Easy, Healthy Dish

Renowned for his nationally acclaimed eateries including The Optimist, Jct. Kitchen, No. 246, King + Duke and St. Cecilia to name a few, Atlanta-based restauranteur chef Ford Fry has tapped into his Texas upbringing to open the second location of his Tex-Mex inspired El Felix in Cumberland’s burgeoning Battery Atlanta mixed-used destination. Working alongside the esteemed executive chef Kevin Maxey—also a native of the “Longhorn State”—Fry and this newest addition to his restaurant group aim to keep Battery’s shoppers, attendees of the Braves’ all-new SunTrust Park and residents content with delectable fare, libations and a festive atmosphere. Spreading the love to Midtown Lifestyle readers, Maxey had no problem demonstrating how to make an easy, yet healthy dish: his delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup.

While graciously following the format of providing a recipe that was good for the soul while keeping the level of skill to novice for aspiring cooks, Maxey’s extraordinary cooking station could not be duplicated. He had all the soup’s ingredients sectioned on the small counter inside a taco truck dating back to the mid-1940s built by the acclaimed David Ford of Food Trucks South based under the roof of El Felix’s expansive patio. This nostalgic kitchen on wheels serves up to-go delights, paying homage to the fare found on the streets throughout Mexico, including house-made tamales, an assortment of tacos, “super” nachos, craft margaritas, taps pouring a quartet of refreshing beers and, for this special occasion, the Chicken Tortilla Soup boasting corn tortillas, tender breast meat, spices and herbs in a steamy broth virtually anyone can make. 

Thanks to Maxey, El Felix and Ford Fry Restaurants, here is an easy-to-follow recipe to heat things up during the cold months. Enjoy!

Chef Kevin Maxey’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Step 1


6 cups organic chicken stock 

3 organic chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless


  1. 1. In a large saucepan, simmer chicken breast in stock for 20 minutes. Once chicken is cooked, remove from pot.
  2. 2. When cool enough to handle, shred it and set it aside.
  3. 3. Return broth to simmer.

Step 2


2 each celery stalks, thinly sliced 

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced 

1 small onion, diced

1/2 jalapeno, diced

1 poblano, diced

1 small zucchini, sliced

4 small tomatillos, cut into fourths

2 medium tomatoes, cut into eighths

6 leaves lacinato kale, whole, but thick stems removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 limes, juiced 


  1. 1. Add vegetable to stock and simmer vegetables for 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
  2. 2. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper
  3. 3. Add lime juice to soup just before serving.

To finish and serve


1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1 avocado, pitted, diced 

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (any Mexican style fresh cheese will do)

1 cup fried tortilla strips


  1. 1. In a serving bowl, add a mound of shredded chicken. Ladle soup over chicken and top with tortilla strips, avocado slices and cheese.

For more information, visit