Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup


I think soup, in all its forms, may be one of the best food groups there is! Every ancient text and historical account has people gathering around a big pot of communal soup - warm, nourishing, healing, and practically magical.  Remember the story of "Stone Soup" that we were told as children?  The great thing about soup is that you can use practically any ingredient in a wonderful marriage of slow cooked flavors, and its a great way to stretch a dollar!  

I have adapted my "normal" stove top soup recipe for this dish into a slow cooker recipe for all of you who are super busy with kids, work, after school activities and appointments, and all the wonders of life that make your family tick.  The "morning prep" for this recipe takes only 10 - 15 minutes and will pretty much be ready and waiting for you when you walk in the door in the evening.  

The morning prep is basically an open-and-dump fun fest where everything just gets thrown into the slow cooker.  You can speed that up as well, if you keep chopped onions and garlic in the freezer.  The finishing touches include options (don't we love options?!).  You can eat as is after shredding the chicken, or take it a few steps further if you'd like.  I pureed my soup in the food processor as my kids are really picky about having vegetables in their food.  As for toppings, I like fried tortilla strips, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro (a must!), and a squeeze of lime.   A dollop of soup cream and slice of avocado are lovely with this as well.

The soup is very flavorful, but not hot (spicy).  After its all said and done, you have a very healthy,  economical, and fast dish.  For just the soup part (exclusive of the toppings), there is almost no fat at all, a lean protein from chicken, and tons of vegetables (vitamins, minerals, healthy fiber) from all the tomatoes, corn, and beans.  Feel free to substitute fresh tomatoes, corn, home made chicken stock, etc., but I chose these items in the canned version for the speed of putting the soup together in the mornings.

Click for Printable Recipe
Ingredients:
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 can diced chilis
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (1 box)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small can sweet corn niblets, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • corn tortillas (2 for soup, more for garnish)
  • 1 can tomato paste

Step-by-step
To Prep - Dump all of the above stuff into the crock pot.  Set on high for 4 hours (or low for 6-8 hours) depending on your crock pot.  
fire roasted, diced tomatoes

enchilada sauce (mild) - but kick up the heat with a spicier one if you wish.

chopped green chilis

drained and rinsed black beans and sweet corn niblets

low sodium chicken broth
1 cup diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 rounded tsp cumin
1 dried bay leaf

2 large chicken breasts

kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
2 corn tortillas, cut into small squares

one small can of tomato paste

Cover and cook!
This is at the end of 4 hours on High.  Ready to eat!
To Finish -  Remove chicken when cooked and shred with a fork.  If you are pureeing the soup, keep the chicken out and covered to stay hot.  Add a little of the liquid to prevent it from drying out.  If not pureeing, add the shredded chicken back to the soup, and you are ready to eat.

Don't forget to pull out the bay leaf.

Shred the chicken with a fork

Add some liquid over it to keep it from drying out.

Cover to keep the meat hot.
If you want, puree the soup in a food processor.  DO NOT TRY this in a BLENDER!!
Now we have a smoother, but still textured soup where EVERYONE eats the veggies!

Add the chicken pieces back.

For the tortilla strips - Cut tortillas into uniform strips.  Drop carefully into hot oil.  The oil should IMMEDIATELY start sizzling when you add them.  Once light/golden brown, remove them with a spider or slotted spoon, drain on a paper towel lined plate, and sprinkle immediately with salt. 
Cut tortillas into strips.

Fry in canola or vegetable oil.

Salt them immediately while draining.  Make extra because they are addictive!
Garnish - Because you might as well do it up right!!!  Fried tortilla strips, shredded cheese, a squeeze of lime, a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, a slice of avocado.
A gorgeous, healthy soup!
 
I serve my chicken tortilla soup with cheese quesadillas, as I enjoy having something to dip into my soup! :)
Serve with cheese quesadillas.  (I sprinkle more cumin in with the cheese during assembly!)
Written Directions
To Prep - Dump all of the above stuff into the crock pot.  Set on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours depending on your crock pot.  

To Finish -  Remove chicken when cooked and shred with a fork.  If you are pureeing the soup, keep the chicken out and covered to stay hot.  Add a little of the liquid to prevent it from drying out.  If not pureeing, add the shredded chicken back to the soup, and you are ready to eat.

For the tortilla strips - Cut tortillas into uniform strips.  Drop carefully into hot oil.  The oil should IMMEDIATELY start sizzling when you add them.  Once light/golden brown, remove them with a spider or slotted spoon, drain on a paper towel lined plate, and sprinkle immediately with salt. 

Garnish - Because you might as well do it up right!!!  Fried tortilla strips, shredded cheese, a squeeze of lime, a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, a slice of avocado.

Order the Menu Musings Cookbook!
 
Looking for delicious and easy ideas?  Please visit my Recipe Index for tons of things to cook with and for your family... or just for yourself!  Here are a few things to get you started:



Click here to Subscribe to MenuMusings so you won't miss a thing!

4 comments:

  1. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jdp - so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Julie

      Delete
  2. Fabulous soup! I love the option to purée this! Now my kids will eat the soup too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband said this was the fastest meal we ever put together. Great recipe! I'm looking foward to trying more recipes from your cookbook, especially the cajun chicken salad.

    ReplyDelete

Follow me on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

In-Article Adsense