Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

October 21, 2009 by Ali

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WOW – fall is flying by! Now that we’ve about reached the halfway point for our fall season at work, it was time this weekend for our quarterly social. And since Yours Truly was in charge this time, we of course had ourselves a delightful little potluck – yeah!! :) I mean, seriously, who would want to order in pizza or sandwiches, when you could have a smorgasbord of all your volunteers’ favorite dishes to sample??

Being that it has turned ridiculously cold ridiculously soon this year, I made it a soup-themed potluck. I’d baked a nice little dessert to bring, but then realized the night beforehand that the organizer (um… me) somehow missed noticing that we were way short on the main dish – soups! Yikes! So to even things out, I turned to the recipe that I’ve often turned to in a bind m-a-n-y times over the years – this fantastic slow-cooker chicken tortilla soup!

I randomly stumbled across it online a few years ago, and was intrigued by the slow-cooker idea. So I gave it a try for (another) potluck, and after about 15 people asked for the recipe, I figured it was a keeper…which is fantastic because it is SO easy to make! Seriously! Don’t be scared off at all by the long list of ingredients. The are quick to combine, and there’s no cooking required – just chopping one onion. (Which if you’re really in a bind, the stores finally now sell frozen chopped onions – voila.) However, for the overachievers or those who would like to hear a little sizzle on the stove, however, I’ve included an easy little homemade tortilla strips how-to. :)

Hooray for crock-pots and good soups! Two of my favorite things about winter. :D

tortilla-crisps

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 8 cups of soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins (frozen or refrigerated)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10 ounce) can good-quality mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen corn (or 1 can of whole-kernel corn, drained)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Homemade Tortilla Crisps Ingredients
  • 3 corn tortillas
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Optional Garnishes
  • avocado slices
  • shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese
  • limes
  • chopped tomatoes
  • soft tortillas (you can place these in the bottom of the bowls, and ladle the soup on top if you'd like!)

Method

Place all soup ingredients (chicken through cilantro) in a large crock pot and stir briefly to combine. Cover, and cook on "low" setting for 6 to 8 hours or on "high" setting for 3 to 4 hours. Anywhere from 15-60 minutes beforehand, remove the chicken breasts. Let cool briefly, then shred and return to soup.

To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls, and add desired garnishes.

Homemade Tortilla Strips "How-To":

Use a knife or pizza cutter, cut a few corn tortillas into small strips (as pictured above).

Skillet Method:

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Test to see if the oil is ready by dripping a drop or two of water in the skillet. (No sound - too cool. Splatter - too hot. Sizzle - perfect!) Once it's ready, add in the tortilla strips. Give them a stir or a flip every 20-30 seconds, until they have begun to turn slightly golden. Remove and place on paper towels to drain and dry. Season with salt or other seasonings.

Oven Method:

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Lay out tortilla strips on a greased cookie sheet, and brush with olive oil. (Optional: season with salt or other seasonings.) Bake the tortilla strips for 5 minutes, then give them a quick stir and/or flip. Bake for 5 minutes more, or until they are crispy and golden.

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

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Ali’s Tip:

The recipe as written is fairly spicy. So if you’re at all sensitive to “heat”, would recommend adding in the spices to taste at the end. And if it is ever too hot, feel free to add in extra water or chicken broth. :)

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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12 thoughts on “Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. THIS SOUP IS DELISH!!! I now have several family members and friends making it too!! I’ve changed it a little but non the less fabulous! Wish I knew the calories though…. YUMMY!

    - Kerri

  2. I just made this soup and love it! I’ve tried finding a copy cat recipe for Claim Jumpers tortilla soup and this is definitely the closest I’ve come to finding a recipe that really hit home as a great tortilla soup. I like it spicy, full of flavor, and a little creamy so I doubled the chili powder, added some salt, and added 1/4 c. heavy cream. All the garnishes went on top with a couple dashes of Chipotle Tobasco hot sauce…yum!!! Thanks for this recipe!!

    - Tiffany

  3. How come this photo is exactly the same I found from a different source

    http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Cumin-Tortilla-Crisps-Epicurious

    - hernando

    • Hi Hernando,

      Thanks for pointing it out. Those are my photos. Looks like the online magazine used them without permission, although their “source” points back to this post.

      ~A

      - ali

  4. What size slow-cooker did you use? I just purchased a 3-quart one, will this fit or will I need to reduce the recipe?

    - Sarah!

  5. I just made this soup today and it was great! Thank you.

    - Emily

  6. This looks so good! I was actually already planning a chicken tortilla slow-cooker soup for tomorrow night! I don’t have the recipe in front of me, so I’m not sure how it compares, but after I make it I’ll check back and let you know. :) Your pictures are beautiful!

    - megan

  7. OK, this one is a definite winner. I’m not much of a tortilla soup fan, but I think this recipe has made a convert of me. So easy that I felt guilty because of how great it tasted. And coming home to the smell of this bubbling away was fantastic!

    I followed the recipe for the most part except doubling all the spices and substituting pintos for black beans (we’re anti-black bean in my house). I think the only thing I’ll change next time would be to saute the onion before throwing it in. They were a bit crunchy for our tastes.

    Thanks for sharing. Methinks this one’s gonna be a fall/winter staple in our house!

    - Daniel

  8. Yum… Love your soup, and I think it sounds great in the slow cooker. I can imagine the lovely smell in the house while this soup is simmering away!

    - Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

  9. you know what? i find all of your optional ingredients and toppings to be ESSENTIAL. black beans, chipotle powder, lime juice? ALWAYS. avocado? must have it. lovely winter warmer, ali!

    - grace

  10. i love your blog! i’m a college student, and i’ve been trying out all of your recipes! simple and delicious! can’t wait to try this one!

    - ailyn