Thursday, January 3, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love soup when it's cold!


I've made Chicken Tortilla Soup many times, but for some reason, never in the slow cooker.  I came across a recipe for a slow cooker version the other day, so I decided to make my own version and see how it stacks up next to the traditional method.  I LOVE the idea of using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to shred the chicken - genius!  Usually I'm all about old school fork shredded and doing work and all that, but this way is easy, fast, and awesome.  I'm a convert.  Here's the recipe:

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 49 oz. can of chicken broth (Swanson Natural Goodness) or the equivalent of homemade stock, etc.
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or use a rotisserie chicken, or a whole chicken you've cooked, etc.)
  • 1 medium onion (white, yellow, sweet - whatever you have on hand), diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced (you can also use a fresh jalapeno, or leave them out, but it's REALLY NOT THAT HOT with just one!)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (the whole can, baby)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (have you ever heard of the garlic rocker? awesome!)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste, maybe (be careful - broth and canned tomatoes can have a lot of sodium)


Optional:
  • 1 c. or so frozen corn, or a can of corn, drained, or leave it out (if canned, I prefer to add later)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (I prefer to add them later so they don't get too mushy)


For garnish:

  • tortillas, cut into strips, seasoned & toasted for some crunch
  • shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese, or cotija or queso fresco, crumbled
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream
  • avocado, sliced
  • fresh diced tomatoes
  • ...you get the idea!


First, cook up your chicken  - either roast a whole chicken and then use that meat, buy a rotisserie chicken at the store, or if you have some chicken breasts on hand, season with a little salt and pepper (I actually used a little Arizona Dreaming seasoning from Penzey's instead) and brown them in a skillet with a little oil.

Then add everything to the slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 4 hours.  I personally like adding in some black beans, but I do it toward the end of the cooking time - same with corn, unless it' frozen.  Do whatever floats your boat.

Before you eat, prep your garnishes, and get them ready.  Slice up a few tortillas very thin, and then spritz with a little olive oil, season with chili powder, and then bake in a 350 oven for a few minutes, turning once, until they're crisped.  You can burn them if you forget, so stay close.  

You can freeze this, too - it makes a pretty large batch!

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