As promised, here is the recipe that launched a thousand requests: my chicken tortilla soup!
Every time I make it my friends rave that it’s the best they’ve ever had and promptly demand the recipe. Naturally I had to finally post it for them, and share the deliciousness with you too! Win win! Let’s get our soup on!
I could write up a fancy intro, or I can get this recipe into your hands as fast as humanly possible so that you can write up your grocery list and get dinner on the table. Let’s go with option b; my friends are running out of patience and getting antsy in their pantsies over this one.
Of course you can absolutely belt this one out on your stove top if you’re hungry and in a hurry. I, however, am a serial slow cooker-er [pretend that works] and crazy for my crock-pot! If you don’t own one, I highly suggest at some point in your life, maybe when things start to get crazy with a capital “K” that you pick one up and embrace the convenience. It’s life-changing to say the least.
Here are a few awesome options if you’re still in the market for one I own two [plus a mini] and they’ve last me forever and a day.
sidenote: Paul totally bet me that this reference would be lost on 99.99% of you. The nerve! Prove him wrong, will ya? He’s such an elitist when it comes to movie quotes.
Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 6 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth [or chicken broth!]
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- ¼-1/2 cup tomatillo salsa verde
- 3 TBSP tomato paste
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 3 cups black beans [cooked or *canned]
- 1-2 cups pinto beans [cooked or canned]
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 small corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
- 2 small onions [approx 2 cups]
- 2 jalapenos [seeds and veins removed]
- 1 large bell pepper
- juice of ½ a fresh lime
- 2-4 TBSP fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- salt, to taste [amount added will vary on sodium content of broth + tomatoes/beans]
- shredded mexican cheese blend
- crunchy tortilla chips
- ...plus add your favorites from the list below:
- greek yogurt or sour cream [I add lime zest to mine for extra oomph!]
- tortilla strips
- chopped red onion
- chopped green onion
- fresh cilantro
- sliced jalapenos [for fire and flair]
- fresh pico de gallo [recipe]
- fresh guacamole [recipe]
- sliced avocado
- For a brothier soup, keep a bit of extra vegetable or chicken broth on hand to add towards the end. I like my soup hearty and skipped the "soupy" soup this time around!
- *If using canned beans, simply drain and rinse and you're ready to go!
- Essentially you're going to toss everything in and walk away, but because I like to explain the methods to my madness I'll go into a bit more detail for ya:
- Turn your slow cooker to high and add broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomatillo salsa, beans and chicken breasts, whole.
- Next dice your bell pepper, jalapeno, and onion and tear your corn tortilla into small pieces before tossing them into the pot as well. The corn tortillas help the soup to thicken a bit and also act as noodles!
- Add your seasonings, fresh cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice + cover.
- Within a few hours the chicken breasts should be juicy and perfectly cooked, if you happen to be around, feel free to scoop them out with tongs or a fork, place them on a cutting board, and chop each breast into six large pieces. Now it'll shred oh-so-easily! Use two forks to create pulled/shredded chicken and add it back to your slow cooker. If you aren't home yet you can complete this step once you return. No worries!
- The soup will simmer away on high for four-six hours [total time] and make your kitchen smell absolutely divine.
- Steal a taste towards the end and add any extra spices or add-ins that float your boat. I typically add a little extra chili and garlic powder and a little fiery cayenne depending on my mood. You may want to add salt or might find that there was enough in your beans/tomatoes/broth to start and leave it as is! Since I add crushed tortilla chips to my final product I only add a pinch of salt to the entire pot. The chips add it in at the end and create the perfect ratio for me! As noted above you can add more broth or keep the soup nice and chunky. I love mine super-hearty so I can attack it with the tortilla chips and a small mountain of grated cheese and scoop up the soup nacho-style. Hot soup, melty cheese, and crunchy tortilla chips... I'm swooning again just thinking about it. Clearly it's time to make another pot!
Recipe yields one 5 quart slow cooker full of YUM!
t-rex chefs did you just faint? I can’t believe I cooked chicken either!
brontosaurus chefs skip the poultry and load up on lots of extra beans and veggies; just remember to amp up the seasonings so you don’t sacrifice flavor. Easy peasy!
notes: Depending on the chaos-factor of your lifestyle, you can prep the chopped ingredients and measure everything out ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to fire up the slow cooker, or simply whip the entire thing up on the fly. I cook a huge batch of beans in the slow cooker early on in the week [like this] so I can make this soup [along with a few other favorites] all week long. It’s a lifesaver!
The great thing about slow cooker soups, especially tortilla soup, is how flexible it is. I use it to empty out my crisper drawer on a regular basis and love how it can rescue veggies that are about to wind up a forgotten mess in the back of my fridge. The recipe above is the all-time favorite combination of ingredients and the one my friends and family go ape over!
no crock pot? no problem!
Boil the chicken breasts in the broth, chop and shred once tender, and then return to the pot to add the remainder of your ingredients. You’ll want to simmer it for a while to cook the onions and peppers to tender perfection or you can saute them on the side and then add them to your pot of yum. If you have any stove-top conversion questions feel free to ask a question in the comment section below or shoot me an email! xoxo
Top with your choice of toppings and dig in! It tastes great right away and even better the following day! You can keep the soup in an airtight container in your fridge for up to four days or stash it away in the freezer for a cold, rainy day. Enjoy!
so… how was it? It’s so flipping good that I think a need a bigger crock-pot! Though it makes a metric ton, there never seems to be enough leftover to freeze because it’s always attacked and obliterated within two days of me making it. I may have even had a bowl for breakfast the next morning. Eggs are so last week.