Thursday, October 13, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have a obsession fascination with Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I've sampled a few varieties at restaurants and my favorite so far is served at the restaurant called "On the Border".  In fact, a few weeks back when it was my birthday, I picked this restaurant so I could order a big bowl of this brothy, savory, tasty soup.  I always eat too many chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants, so having a nice bowl of soup really is enough.  Here is my version... I made it today in the slow cooker (Crock Pot) in about four hours. It was a snap to throw together.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 cans of chicken broth or 1 carton (32 ounce size) chicken broth (low fat, low sodium, no MSG)
2 medium sized boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 small to medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 can (15 ounce size) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup of salsa (I used Pace Mild Chunky Salsa)
1 teaspoon each garlic powder, salt, and granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano, black pepper, and chili powder
1 cup cooked white rice (measured out 1 cup after cooked... I used leftover basmati rice)

Put all ingredients in the slow cooker except the cooked rice.  Stir, cover, and cook on low setting for 4 to 4 1/2 hours.  Remove chicken breasts and place on cutting board. Shred chicken with two forks.  Return shredded chicken to slow cooker and add 1 cup cooked rice.  Add additional salt and pepper if it needs additional seasoning.  Allow to simmer, covered, a few minutes to warm the rice.

Serve soup in bowls and garnish with any of the following:  crushed up corn tortilla chips (mandatory!), grated cheese (such as pepper jack or Monterrey jack), & diced avocado.

At "On the Border," the soup is topped with strips of fried corn tortilla chips and diced avocado.  They must place the cheese in the bowl before the hot soup is ladled in so you are surprised by the cheesy goodness in the bottom of the bowl.  The restaurant version also contains yellow corn (I think I've even had it with with sliced zucchini).   My version of the soup is not an exact duplicate but I am happy with it.  It's a sunny, warm autumn day in Colorado today, but I know I would love coming home to a bowl of this soup on a cold winter day. 


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