Chicken Tortilla Soup for the Soul

I have a sick kid home from school today, and it’s only the third full week of school!

While I wasn’t planning to use my slow cooker until this weekend to make apple butter with our freshly-picked apples, my son’s rising temperature and his pathetic putty-like demeanor prompted me to make a fresh batch of the soothing Chicken Tortilla Soup.  In my book, any dish containing chicken broth means comfort and warmth and lots of flavor- the perfect remedy for any illness.

Mom’s 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 slurped by my pathetic wet noodle of a kid.  .

I anticipated some resistance to this meal so I  purchased a big benign piece of pretzel bread that I warmed in the oven.  My plan worked. He first used the bread as a crutch to sponge up the broth.  Then, when comfortable enough with the broth, he ate the chicken chunks and abandoned the bread all together!  Cheese and avocado are also tasty garnishes but, I held off on these this time only.

While my son couldn’t muster the energy for a two full thumbs up sign of approval, I did witness his first crack of a smile and I relished with satisfaction knowing I was nourishing his soul.



  1. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    Yummmmm! I made something like this a few days ago. We were feeling kind of punkish and needed some comfort food. I just tore the tortillas into pieces and dropped them into the boiling soup–sort of like Tex Mex Dumplings 🙂

  2. That sounds really awesome. Fantastic. With winters round the corner, soups can be best change.

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