Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

So kicking off some soup recipes for the winter is a favorite of mine as it's got some Mexican American flavors in soup form and man, does that really ring a bell with me.

The first time I made this, I was not only surprised at how easy it was but really delicious as well! There's a lot of flexibility in it to add, omit, or substitute the ingredients as well as level of spiciness. I think it would work just as well with beef cuts and beef broth or even if you make it vegetarian by omitting the meat and using vegetable broth!

The toppings that you add- crunchy tortilla chips, tart and creamy sour cream, velvety cheese- is the secret that takes the chicken to another level and make it truly an economical and easy but homely meal.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

You'll need:
- 4 medium-sized Chicken Breasts
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 Bell Pepper, diced
- 1-2 Spicy Chili Peppers/ Jalapenos, diced (depending how spicy you want it)
- 1 can of Diced Tomatoes (I sometimes substitute with 1-1.5 cup of diced tomatoes or sliced cherry tomatoes)
- 1 cup or can of your favorite beans, uncooked or cooked (Black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans all work perfectly fine)
- 2-3 cups of Chicken Broth (use this slow cooker recipe I posted before for convenience)
- 1/2 - 1 tbsp of minced Garlic
- 1/4 cup of your favorite Salsa, plus more for taste and topping
- 1 tbsp of Cumin
- 1 tbsp of Chili Powder
- 1 tbsp of Lime juice plus more for tasting (substitute with lemon juice if lime juice is unavailable)
- Salt and Pepper

For garnish:
- Finely chopped Cilantro
- Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce/ Salsa
- Shredded Cheese
- Crushed Tortilla Chips

1. Put all the ingredients, except the ingredients for the garnishing/topping, into the slow cooker along with the seasonings and chicken breasts (it's fine if they're still frozen). Then add in your chicken broth and water, and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.

2. An hour before serving, shred the cooked chicken breasts. Taste and season your broth as needed with additional spices, salsa, hot sauce. When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls and add crushed tortilla chips and cheese to the hot soup. Provide sour cream and extra salsa/hot sauce for those who want to add it.

Woo hoo! Homemade chicken broth and slow cooker for the win! :)