A few weeks ago, I turned on my trusty slow cooker to make some pulled BBQ chicken for dinner that night, but when I came home many hours later….there was NO delicious smell to greet me at the door.
Did I forget to plug it in?! DANG.IT. Nope…plugged in.
Did I forget to turn the darn thing on…AGAIN?!! UGH! Ummm, nope…lights on.
It just decided that after 12 years of service, it wasn’t going to work any more. So after 12 wonderful years, I said “peace” to my trusty slow cooker and the search was on for a new one. After buying one, I decided (on a particularly cold and wet day) that I would make a delicious pot of soup to test it out.
Now I should tell you that I’m not a huge soup person – don’t get me wrong, there are soups that I love and downright crave (Chorizo and Lentil soup – YUM!), but it’s just not something I make a whole lot of at home. The main reason being that growing up, soup was something we had with our meal, or before our meal…not necessarily as our meal. And as such, I never feel “full” after a bowl of it. That being said, this time of year when the weather is cold and wet, nothing sounds better than a piping hot bowl of soup.
I’ve never actually made soup in a slow cooker before – man oh man, have I been missing out!!! EASY does not describe this recipe enough!! “Fool proof” is more like it! It’s a pretty basic recipe that can be “doctored” up a million different ways to suit your taste. A dear friend of mine (Hi Andrea ☺) made this for our book club last year, and when I asked her for the recipe, I was to the moon thrilled that she made it start to finish in her crock pot…and BONUS, is very healthy!!! I resisted the urge to change the recipe (much) the first time, and then gave my little tweaks the second time.
A little advice: If you have a loved one going off to college, or just finishing college and starting out, here’s a great gift idea…buy them a good ole’ crock pot! If you’re feeling really generous, throw in a gift certificate to their local grocery store and this recipe. They will LOVE you for it!
The recipe below is the original recipe that Andrea gave me from Baked By Rachel. My “tweaks” are in ( ) beside it, but again, you can add your own personal touch and make it your own. Enjoy! Xoxo
Let’s get those ingredients ready! Chicken Stock, Onion, Corn Kernels, Green Bell Pepper, Serrano Pepper, Garlic, Chili Powder, Chicken Breast, Diced Tomatoes, Salt and Pepper
If you plan on de-seeding your Serrano pepper, here’s a quick little trip I figured out while making Jalapeno Poppers and needed to de-seed 50 of them! Get some NON-powdered gloves (Costco has them and they are latex free). Slice the pepper in half, then holding the pepper in your dominate hand, take your thumb “nail” and starting at the top, lightly scrape to the bottom. In one quick swipe, the pepper is clean and you can move on to the next one. BONUS, when gloves come off, your hands are free of the hot oils from the pepper and you don’t have to worry about accidentally touching your eyes!
Throw everything (except ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper) into the crock pot! ***Note – I didn’t have diced tomatoes, so I used a can of crushed tomatoes. Since they can be a touch acidic, I also added ½ tsp of sugar to cut some of the acidity. I promise it won’t make it sweet, but if you use crushed tomatoes, you might want to do the same.
Turn your slow cooker on HI for 3 hours, and NO PEEKING!
After 3 hours, remove your chicken breasts, and using two forks, shred them well. Season with the remaining salt and pepper, toss and put back into the pot, put the lid back on and cook for another hour.
Meanwhile, get your toppings ready. I love avocado with this, and the easiest (and bonus, no mess) way to cut an avocado is to slice in half, then slice the avocado (stop when you feel the skin on the knife tip) in a “crisscross” pattern (see pic below), then with a spoon, just scoop out the flesh into a bowl, and spritz with the juice of ½ a lime and a sprinkling of kosher salt. This will keep it from browning and add a nice fresh taste! I also served this with some chopped fresh cilantro (a MUST with this yummy soup!), Greek yogurt that I topped with some chopped green onions/scallions and some shredded cheese.
And dinner is served!!! Like a said, this is a basic recipe that you can doctor up a million and one ways, and an absolute must on a cold and dreary day. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Original by Baked by Rachel
* 1 lb chicken breast, trimmed (I hade 1.4 lbs, so I used all of it)
* 15 oz can of sweet corn kernels, drained
* 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (I didn’t have any so I used a 15 oz can crushed tomatoes)
* 5 C Chicken Stock (my box of stock had 4 C, so I used that plus after I poured out the crushed tomatoes, I put water into the can to get all of the goodness out, and threw that in…about ½ of the can full).
* ¾ C yellow onion, chopped (I just used one whole, medium sized Spanish/Yellow onion)
* ¾ C green bell pepper, chopped (I actually just used one whole green pepper… close enough)
* 1 Serrano pepper, minced (***I omitted this the 2nd time because I truly didn’t think it added anything to the soup other than one more ingredient to pick up).
* 2 cloves of garlic, minced
* ¼ tsp chili powder (I used a “healthy” ¼ tsp)
* 1 ½ tsp salt, divided
* 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
* Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (you can use whatever cheese you have on hand for serving)
* Seasoned Tortilla Strips (I totally didn’t add this part).
****** OK, the second time I made this I added:
1 healthy tsp cumin
½ healthy tsp of chili powder (instead of only ¼ tsp)
½ healthy tsp onion powder (sometimes called ‘granulated onion’)
½ tsp smoked paprika (not regular paprika, if you only have regular just skip it – it’s the smoky taste you want ☺)
and I seasoned with a little extra salt and pepper to taste
I seasoned the chicken liberally with all of the spices and then added all of it to the slow cooker and just followed the instructions above.
I served the soup with: fresh cilantro (a MUST, IMOHO), diced avocado, fat-free Greek yogurt, green onions, fresh lime juice and shredded cheese. HELLA’ GOOD!!!