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Easy chicken tortilla soup

September 28, 2011

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Fall is in the air, so soup is back on the menu! It’s also an extremely busy time at my house, especially on Tuesdays. My oldest has play practice, the younger two have football practice (and my husband helps coach their team), plus every other week, we have Cub Scouts. That means we have a very small window for eating supper, and it’s often late in the evening, so we don’t want anything too heavy. Hello, slow cooker!

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I love the warm spiciness of chicken tortilla soup, so I thought I’d give it a try! It was perfect for the slow cooker, too. I’ve been trying to plan my meals for the week ahead of time, so since I knew I was making this on Tuesday, I threw some frozen chicken thighs in the slow cooker on Monday and just let them cook. Then, I removed the skin and bones and shredded the meat. I reserved 2 cups of meat for this soup, and froze the rest in a freezer bag. Perfect for a future soup or casserole! I also strained all the juices left in the crock pot and put the container of stock in the refrigerator.

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Tuesday around lunchtime, I put the soup together in the slow cooker. Here’s what I used:

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2 cups chicken broth (I skimmed the fat off the top of my refrigerated stock and added hot water to make 2 cups)

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 medium can tomato sauce (you can used crushed tomatoes, but I don’t like tomato chunks!)

1 can enchilada sauce

2 small cans green chiles

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, including the liquid from the can

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely diced

2 Tbsp. cilantro

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

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Just dump everything into the slow cooker, put on the lid, and cook it on high for 3 to 4 hours, or low 6 to 8 hours. My slow cooker also has a “warm” setting, which is great. The soup was ready before we left for football practice, so I just turned it to low, and it was perfect when we got home.

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Traditionally, tortilla soup is served with toasted strips of corn tortillas. Why not make things easy? I used slightly crushed tri-color tortilla chips, and also added a sprinkle of cheese. You could add sour cream if you like. I made this soup to be on the mild side, since my youngest doesn’t love spicy food. You can certainly pump up the spice factor by adding more peppers or hot sauce.

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Sometimes it’s hard to get kids on board with just soup for supper, but all three of my boys cleaned their bowls and said they loved the soup! It was nice to come home from a busy afternoon and evening and sit down together at the table with a warm, hearty meal that was waiting for us.

 

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