Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I know that I signed off in my last post as, until my canning experience, or something akin to that. Well, my canning is not looking so good, since I seem to be finding treasures left and right that I just cannot refuse but are causing me to stay out of the kitchen. I am so excited to bring those treasures to you at our next sale in November but for right now, it is all about dinner and the lack there of, if some thought is not put into it. I just made my go to recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup when Shane came home for his Fall break this past week. It is one of my family’s favorites and so incredibly simple that I have to share it with you. I am fully aware that with the busy schedules of the kids after school with sports and activities paired with homework and showers ( for me that is… who finally might get one) dinner can often be problematic. Here is one recipe that if thrown in the crock pot in the am, it will delight in the pm. Unless you have a child who has sensory issues and asks, “What smells so bad in the kitchen?” Give him a clothespin for his nose and feed him rice.
Ingredients

1 pound shredded cooked chicken ( I boil the chicken in a pot of water first and then shred it or saute chicken breasts in a saute pan with a little olive oil and then cut up.)
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed or canned diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cups water
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth (I use low sodium)
1 tsp each cumin, chili powder and salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 Tbls chopped cilantro
 *7 corn tortillas (optional)
   vegetable oil
Assorted toppings of choice such as cheddar cheese, salsa, avocados, sour cream and rice
I double all of the ingredients to make a large pot to feed a family of 7 and have a little for the next day.

Directions

Place all ingredients except for tortillas and oil in a slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. I sometimes leave it on for longer and the longer it cooks the better the flavors meld. It is even better the next day!
 * Before serving, Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10-15 mins. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup and any toppings that you would like. I lay them all out in bowls and it is a help yourself affair.
If you have little time before serving or if you have a child who has sensory issues and cannot eat spicy things, cook up a batch of whole grain rice and serve a scoop of that in each bowl and a plain bowl of rice to the sensitive child.
This recipe makes a hearty meal for a chilly fall or cold winter night. Serve with a side salad and rice and it is quite filling!
Enjoy, and let me know what you think should you try it!
~Meg
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