Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Fiesta, Now Siesta

Tortilla chips for garnish.
This Thanksgiving marks the fourth in a row that I've either cooked and/or hosted. A well-deserved rest is in order I think! While many may reach for take-out menus and frozen pizzas when too tired to cook, I turn to my trusty friend the Crock-Pot when I want an easy home-cooked meal.

Chicken Tortilla Soup is probably the easiest recipe I own, and it's delicious! I have to be honest, there are no actual tortillas in this soup- only sprinkled on top as a garnish. I tried fervently to think of other, more creative names, some possibilities included; Confetti Soup, Mexican Fiesta Soup, or Latin Delight! But the further I got away from the original name, the closer I got to a recipe that sounded like a hispanic soap opera.

And so, Chicken Tortilla Soup it is. But what it lacks in name elegance, it makes up for in taste, price and convenience. Every time I prepare this, which is usually for a big group of guests, I run out. That is a testimony to it's greatness. In fact, I made this recently for an impromptu dinner party and barely had enough left for a final photo in this blog. To quote my eloquent, educated, two masters degree and one bachelor in English Literature husband, "This recipe is awesome and easy. You just slop cans in the Crock-Pot! An idiot could do this."

Thanks honey.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cast of characters: 2 cans black bean, 2 cans corn, 2 cans refried beans, 2 cans diced tomatoes, low-sodium chicken broth, some shredded chicken, assorted spices, (plus Coco the cat). Note:  Use low sodium variety on all canned goods if possible.

2 cans corn and and 2 cans tomatoes into Crockpot. Undrained. 
2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained.
 2 cans refried beans. This makes the soup thick and creamy. If the chicken is the star of this soup, then the cans of refried beans are the Best Supporting Actor (Tony nom.). The refried beans are what turns this from a thin soup, to something hearty and special.
Add shredded cooked chicken.  I had some in my freezer  from a previous recipe Kitchen Sink Chicken, or you could use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Then fill to the top of Crockpot with chicken broth. (You can also leave the chicken out and use vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian!)
Spice it up! Add a big handful of cumin. Then salt and pepper liberally to taste. Cook on high in Crockpot for 2-3 hours and stir occasionally. Optional additions for extra pizzazz : can of diced green chiles, 1/2 packet of taco seasoning, cup of salsa, can of cream of chicken soup, cup of salsa verde, an extra can of pinto or kidney beans.

Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

With cold weather approaching, I plan on posting lots of new and creative Crock-Pot recipes. Desserts, entrees, appetizers, even beverages! One of my favorite resources is Ginger over at The Crock-Pot Recipe Exchange, check her out sometime. 

I'd love to know your favorite Crock-Pot staple recipes? (Especially when you're tired and need a break from cooking!) 


  1. Just a question. Why rinse the beans? I truly don't know. I like that starchy liquid.

  2. This is great! A perfect hardy meal for us
    hungry folk. (Oh, and I always question someone with 2 masters...)

  3. @Marty- great question! For some reason black beans are covered in a gritty, sandy-like substance that I find extremely unappetizing. I had the misfortune of not rinsing them once, I don't recommend it. I do enjoy the juices in the corn and tomatoes though. Hope that helps!

    @Lindy- me too! The educated are never to be trusted:-)

  4. Hey, Linds, this sounds and looks delicious. I will give it a try soon. I love Mexican food in general, and we're definitely into soup season.

  5. Thanks for reading Margo! I really hope you try this, it's so delicious. Let me know if you make any modifications that you enjoy!

  6. I love me an easy crock pot recipe and this definitely fits the bill. (And I love your Husband's description - so sounds like mine.)

  7. Yes @Courtney don't husbands keep cooking interesting?? :-) Thanks for reading!

  8. Lindsay, I made this and LOVE it! I used two kinds of beans instead of chicken and included the salsa. I also decided to add in some rice to my bowl at dinner tonight, and it was great! So glad you posted this!

  9. I'm so glad you liked it Samantha! Now you have a new recipe for those chilly winter nights.

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