I’ve been told by everyone who’s had this recipe that it’s literally The Best Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup ever. I use a couple easy tricks to maximize the flavor while keeping the prep time down. It’s a healthy and delicious slow cooker Mexican recipe that’s a true crowd pleaser.
- 3 dried Mexican peppers – guajillo, pasilla, ancho (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs (see notes)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 – 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1 – 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 4 large tortillas cut into thin strips (use gluten-free, if needed)
- Optional toppings: sour cream, queso, limes, cilantro
- Place the dried peppers in a bowl and cover them with about a cup of hot tap water.
- Heat the tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it is well browned, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minute more.
- Pull the stems off of the peppers. Add the peppers and the water they’re soaking into your blender. Add the cooked onion and blend until smooth. If it is too thick to blend properly, add some of the stock. Pour this into your crock pot or a large pot.
- Add the chicken thighs, chicken stock, water, sea salt, and tomatoes. Set the crock pot to high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. If cooking in a pot, you want the pot to barely be simmering. Only heat it enough so that there are a few bubbles.
- Remove the chicken from the crock pot or pot. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and shred the meat. Return the meat to the pot and add the black beans and corn and let them heat through.
- While the beans and corn are heating, make the tortillas. Set your oven to 350 degrees. Put the tortilla strips on a baking sheet and toss them with the teaspoon of oil. Spread them out on the baking sheet then put them in your oven. Let them toast for about 10-15 minutes, tossing once or twice until lightly browned. Remove them from the oven. Note: they will continue to crisp as they cool.
- Serve the chicken tortilla soup with the tortillas on top and any or all of the optional toppings.
I’ve tried different combinations of peppers and every time this soup turns out great. The important part seems to be that you use dried peppers, not necessarily which types of peppers you use. If you would like a spicier soup, add a chili pepper into the mix.
Make sure you use bone in chicken. The bones are what make the soup extra flavorful. Usually, bone in chicken is sold with the skin on, simply pull the skin off before putting the chicken in the pot.