Slow Cooking: Chicken Tortilla Soup

It’s been so mild out, who’s thought about soup?  Today is literally the first day I’ve worn a hat and gloves and a winter coat to combat the freezing cold temperatures.  Making Chicken Tortilla soup in my slow cooker seemed like the perfect indoor remedy.  I haven’t used the slow cooker since my last whirl with French Onion Soup and I was looking forward to the smelling the soupy aromas all day long.  In my book, any dish containing chicken broth means comfort and warmth and lots of flavor.

I found a soup recipe from Mom’s chaotic collection but, again, it was missing some key ingredients and I was skeptical to try the recipe without cross-checking it with another one.  It seems Mom often cooked with dark meat chicken, usually thighs.  Although dark meat is juicier and more flavorful, my family only eats chicken breasts.  The Chicken Tortilla soup recipe I used calls for shredded chicken.  Luckily I’ve become an expert at Mom’s Chicken Salad with Mango Chutney so I’ve learned that boiling chicken is the best method to produce the perfect shreds.  With boiled chicken you can literally tear pieces off.

As with many slow cooker recipes, once the chicken is shredded, all you need to do is dump all of the other ingredients together into the porcelain crock pot and let it work its magic.  This particular soup combines so many great flavors and spices to create a nice southwestern kick:  cilantro, garlic, cumin, parsley, chilli powder, bay leaves, green chilli peppers.

Green Chilli Peppers ready for the crock pot

The spice and flavor palette for the soup base

Whole tomatoes in the crock pot awaiting spices

I even followed the directions and made my own corn tortilla strips for the top of the soup!  Who knew it’s as easy as cutting the corn tortillas in strips and then baking them with some sea salt and oil for ten minutes?

corn tortilla strips baking in the oven

After 4 hours of cooking on high, the soup was ready to be sampled amongst my ornery panel of judges: my 9 and 6 year old children.  They seemed a bit skeptical when all they saw on the table were bowls on top of the place mats.

“We’re only having soup for dinner?” my daughter asked, mildly whining.

“Well, it’s got a ton of chicken, it’s really filing,” I defensively barked back.

I anticipated their resistance to this meal, so I had purchased a big piece of pretzel bread that I warmed in the oven and placed on the table before they could whine some more.  The plan worked, they first used the bread as a crutch to sponge up the broth.  Then, when they were comfortable enough with the broth, they experimented with the chicken chunks and abandoned the bread all together!  I should’ve added the suggested cheese and avocado garnish but, I forgot.

While I didn’t get two full thumbs up, I was told I got an A for effort since I made the tortilla sticks from scratch.

Whatever it takes….

Keep warm and enjoy.


  1. i like adding the queso fresco or the white mexican cheese shredded on top. this soup is one of my favorites at good Mexican restaurants. great job shari.

  2. One of my favorite soups – thank you for posting this!

  3. Amazing! Can’t wait to try this, and I’m pretty sure my kids will love it too! Love that you got a “A” for effort 🙂

  4. Heey verү ice blog!


  1. […] you’ve witnessed, I’ve slow cooked everything from: baked apples to chicken tortilla soup to macaroni and cheese to turkey chili to even a pound cake!  Slow cooking has become an […]

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