Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have been wanting to try a Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe I saw on gimme some oven for a while now.

Then, during the much-dreaded grocery shopping trip I took yesterday, I got a great deal on a 3 lb. bulk pack of chicken.

Oh, the things we delight in as we get older - "You will not believe the deal I got on this chicken today! $1.99 a pound!"  Yikes.

So anyway ... I decided the time had come for chicken tortilla soup.

Naturally, I pick the most unseasonably warm day we've had yet this year to try it out.  82 degrees?  Sweet, let's make soup!

Not to mention Mr. Vittles doesn't really like soup.  So I was really rolling the dice with this one.

Meh.  May as well go for broke.

Oh, by the way, I only needed one pound of chicken for the soup but I trimmed it all and marinated some for tonight's dinner (baked buffalo chicken strips, coming soon!) 

My forethought astounds you, doesn't it?  It astounds me too, sometimes.

Ok now that we've all basked in my glory for a split second, I will tell you a couple of secrets.

One, my forethought is actually not that great because this soup required 3-4 hours of cooking on HIGH, and I got home from grocery shopping after 5PM.  Ack!  Meaning, unless we wanted to have dinner at 9:30PM, I needed to speed things up.

So... I cut up the chicken breasts into pieces, and lessened the cook time to 2 hours + 15 minutes after shredding the chicken.

Which worked, but your preferred cooking method is totally up to you.  You could cook for the recommended 3 to 4 hours on high if you start the soup early enough.  Or, you could start it in the AM and cook it on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Or maybe you eat dinner at 9:30PM and are shocked that I don't do the same?

Anyway, moving on to the second secret - I am not a huge soup fan myself.  I find it sort of weird and generally un-satisfying.  There are very few soups I would even say that I like.

But this soup just gave off a magical aura of scrumptiousness, and I guess I couldn't resist its powers.

Well, I'm glad I didn't fight the feeling.  Even Mr. Vittles gave it the eyebrow raise & admitted "It's pretty good... for a soup."

I like how he had to throw that last part in.  Just in case I got any crazy ideas, like putting us on an all-soup diet or something? 

Anyway ... if you, too, like to eat soup on 80-degree days, I suggest you fire up the slow cooker and go to town with this.  You won't regret it.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes & chiles (i.e. Rotel)
  • 1 (10 oz.) can good-quality mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper (optional- can also use more if you like spicy)
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • crushed tortilla chips, for topping
If using chicken breasts, cut each into 3 or 4 pieces.  Place all ingredients except tortilla chips in a large crock pot and stir briefly to combine. Cover & cook on“high” setting for 2 hours.  With crock pot still on, remove the chicken breasts & let cool briefly.  Then shred and return to soup to cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.  To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls, and garnish with crushed tortilla chips.

Recipe adapted from gimme some oven

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